Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Days of Wine and Rojas

During the summers of 1960-1964 my friend Rick Vargo and I would play a game we called ‘Strikeout.’ It was a simple game of baseball with a pitcher, a batter, a tennis ball, a broomstick and a strike zone painted on our garage door. We had a field, of sorts, that included my neighbor’s backyard, a maple tree and 2 telephone poles. One of us would pitch and the other would bat utilizing the painted strike zone (few arguments ensued) and the afore-mentioned boundaries. We also had zones for singles, doubles and homeruns. (Triples were too rare and too hard to create a zone for.)
Living in close proximity to Philadelphia I was a huge Phillies fan. Rick had family in Pittsburgh and loved The Pirates. So in our little fantasy league those two franchises played each other everyday and both of those teams were pretty good in that era. The Pirates won The World Series in 1960 and The Phillies wasted a great season in 1964 by folding terribly in the final stretch. But those teams had some wonderfully, colorful players whom Rick and I could emulate, both at the plate and on the mound. And the best fun we had on those brilliant Pennsylvania days was to wind-up, throw and bat like our heroes: Clemente, Face, Demeter, Mahaffey, Bunning, Friend, Haddix, Burgess, Mazeroski, Callison - even Bobby Wine and Cookie Rojas. No records were kept of those contests, except this one: I am writing about it 48 years later.
Rick – The Phillies won The World Series tonight.  I pitched a perfect game and you drove in the winning run - with a triple.  Miss you every day.


Blogger tallu said...

sweet. i love this.

November 2, 2008 at 1:20 AM  

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