Fast Pitch Softball

Reflections of my childhood...

Just about any evening during the summertime all the kids would go to the softball field out the street behind the school to watch teams made up of workers from the various industries in town.  Teams were made of young guys that had played sports for one of the high schools in the area and after graduation had gone to work in one of the plants.  Many of these guys could hardly wait to clock out each day before heading across town to one of the softball fields devoted to the Industrial Softball League during the 1950’s in my hometown.  Companies like Monroe Calculating, Pet Dairy, Raytheon, and Coke Cola Bottling just to name a few formed company teams that would compete for trophies to place inside their awards cabinets back at the plants where they worked.  The firms would provide the uniforms and equipment and the men provided the energy and talent to assure an evening of sport and excitement.

I would make sure our presence was known

After supper I would run out the front door, out the walk and through the front gate to meet up with other youth who were rushing out the street to help the players gather the equipment out of their cars and start warm-ups.  Duffle bags of softballs, softball bats, gloves and bases would be unloaded from their cars or pickup trucks and placed in position on the field and as other players arrived my friends and I would make sure our presence was known hoping we might be selected as bat boys for this evening’s game.  My friends and I knew that ball field because we attended that old school up on the hill and played ball ourselves there during the school year.

Did you play softball?

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Most of the guys came straight from work

 One could sense the excitement growing as each moment brought another car or two filled with more players, coaches and umpires not to mention the spectators who were usually the families of the players as well as the residents in the community.  Most of the guys came straight from work and you could see them rushing to change to their uniforms while still in their cars all the while their fellow teammates hollering for them to hurry it was almost game time.  While most of the players worked at the plants that had teams in the Industrial League every now and then you might see a ‘fill in’ or substitute maybe to play in place of a regular team member who might be on vacation or having to pull shift work and wouldn’t be unavailable for the games this week.

‘batter up - play ball…’

Remember, TV was just beginning to appear in the area and not everyone had opportunity to purchase a set, and besides all the programing was local anyway because the station had not received full affiliation so resident attendance was high because my hometown was not a big city. We all knew the players as sons or uncles and any substitute or ‘fill in’ would stick out like a sore thumb because of no uniform and having to play in plain clothes. The umpire had flipped the coin to determine who was a bat first and the teams were taking position either in the field or lining up according to their individual batting order. We were all ready to begin an evening of fast pitch softball as the umpire could be seen sweeping off home plate one final time in anticipation of the first pitch and yelling out, ‘batter up - play ball…’

© SamSonS

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Comments 8 comments

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"Quill" 6 years ago

Those same kids who used to rally to help the players of the day were the players of the future leagues... a wonderful memory bother... thank you.


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

thank you Quill, I hope you are feeling better today and thank you for your first response to my latest offerings.

May our God hold you closely as you recover and blessings to you and yours...

Sky321 profile image

Sky321 6 years ago from Canada

Hi samson1, I used to play just for fun with the neighborhood kids. Once I got hit in the nose with the ball and once in the knees with a bat. lol

I hope you can come chat sometimes at the Hub Church I made I'm on there now if anyone wants to come. Live chat

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks Sky321 for sharing your reminisce and would love to come chat, but it's midnight in the east and my eyes are droopy so I must take a rain check okay?


carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

I prefer hitting a hardball, but softball is a lot of fun!!

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks carolina for dropping by and adding your comments...

fred allen profile image

fred allen 6 years ago from Myrtle Beach SC

I was the center of attention in the summer in my town! Thanks for the memories.

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks fred for sharing your reminisce...

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