Tuesday, August 25, 2015


While playing third base for the Seraperos de Saltillo for one season in the Mexican Baseball League, one thing I learned is that it seems, at least sometimes, that waiting is about 80% of life.

As a ballplayer, you're nearly always waiting. Waiting for a game to start or a rain delay to end. Waiting for a ball to be hit your way. Waiting for your turn at bat. Waiting, even, for the pitcher between pitches.

Though I last played ball "for serious" when I was 17, before I enrolled in Columbia University in the City of New York, it's safe to say at that early age, I had earned my Masters Degree in waiting.

It was during that summer, a full 40 years ago, that I invented and became the all Mexican Champion at a game I called rafter ball.

The clubhouse had exposed 2x6 rafters crissing and crossing the ceiling. While we waited for this or for that, two or four of us would position ourselves underneath a rafter which ran about four feet over our heads. Underhand one of us would toss a baseball up toward the rafter. If it missed, that was an out. If the ball bounced on the rafter once, it represented a single. Twice, a double. Three times, a triple. Four times, a homer. And if the baseball somehow stayed on the rafter, it was an automatic grand slam.

We could play rafter ball literally for hours. We'd play with real imaginary rosters. Games that would go on for hours. Longer than real live human being games. Money, of course, would be bet. Tempers would flare. Time would be passed. Which was, after all, the whole point.

Today, like I said, it's 40 years later.

We are often sent off to do ridiculous tasks at ridiculous speed.

Then, of course, we wait for ridiculous feedback.

Rafter ball anyone?

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