And more summer memories…

Time in the trailer has me thinking about the past more often. I find myself in various places in various timeliness, and understanding the meaning of life as a retrospective.

My mom and dad both loved baseball but in different ways. Mom loved to watch the games while Dad loved to listen on the old transistor radio. I loved being at the stadium or listening in the car; still do.

I don’t remember who taught me to appreciate the game, but it was the one thing that we could all agree on, ever. (Well, if you don’t count ice cream.) If the Indians were playing, the game was on. There was no quibbling, no changing of channels, no drama, just baseball. I still know how to score a game on paper, archaic hieroglyphics.

Dad used to like sitting by the kitchen table with the little radio, while Mom preferred the living room with me. I had my own little transistor radio, a fancy blue ball Panasonic Panapet that I got for Christmas one year. With the two radios on, we’d have a makeshift stereo effect going. We would pay so much attention to the games that the summer twilights would settle, yet not one of us noticed it. There was only the baseball, the ice cream, the crickets, the fireflies, the warm unspokenness, and the baseball…

We’ve had so many great sports announcers though the years, but none could top the smooth delivery of the great Herb Score. Like the athletes he described, he was The Natural at painting the picture and putting you inside the ballpark, inside the game, there yet not-there, all worth it. Herb was a former Indians pitcher, maintaining his excellence and love of the game by being the television voice and then the radio voice of the Indians for decades.

Herb called many highlights, few better than Len Barker’s perfect game on May 15, 1981. Herb swept us right into the excitement as Lenny worked his magic and wove a spell not only inside the Stadium but inside our house. Mom and Dad and I celebrated right along with the Indians that night, as did many others in the neighborhood, their transistors on in their twilit living rooms.

The trailer doesn’t hear much baseball — Frank’s not a big sports fan, and although he doesn’t mind when I listen, I know he’d rather be doing something else. I catch my Indians in the car every chance I get, listening and watching in my mind’s eye as if I were in the new ballpark, my heart “back in the day” when we clung to those golden moments of peace in the dark.