Saturday, March 15, 2008

Summer of 62

Baseball,my favorite thing to do as a kid.
It was something the kids from the neighborhood did everyday of summer.We just loved playing ball,whether it was hardball or 12 inch softball,we played whenever we could.
We even played some 16 inch softball,but I think our hands were to small for that.
Once when I was 12,we were playing 12 inch softball after school in the ball field of my school on 104th street.
The game was in the third inning,my team was behind 3 to 1.
My turn came up for me to bat,I let the first 2 pitches go,both strikes.This didn't bother me because I knew I was a pretty good hitter.
The next pitch I saw coming in a little low but still in the strike zone,I swung hard and hit the ball squarely.I knew it was going far but I had no idea what was to happen next.
The ball went long and far into right field,so long and so far it hit the second floor window of my classroom.
I stood in shock,some guys started to laugh,some ran.I stood there stunned I had hit the ball so far.
Suddenly principal Brower and janitor Natleborg came to the window,at this point everyone ran except me.
I was alone on the field,Principal Brower asked,did you break this window? I said yes sir I did.
He looked at the janitor,the janitor said..ok that will be $4.00 for a replacement window.
I was scared,I didn't have $4.00 I said."Your parents will have to pay then"
Well,I never told my my mom or dad,I was afraid of getting in trouble with them.
I avoided the principal and janitor all year,they never pursued the matter.
Now here I am so many years later,still remembering my Babe Ruth type home run.Past glory lives on.
I still wonder why the Cubs never called me,they missed a great left fielder and home run hitter.

1 comment:

Brother Bud said...

Unfortunately brother you hit the ball to right field. When I played there I always hit it to left field and over the fence over the Haan's house and I swear sometimes It would land not on 103rd Place but almost always make it to 103rd Street. It would then bounce into a CTA bus full of passengers who would just shake their head and say that must of been that Lanting kid. Most of them called me Babe.
To make you feel better I was the one who paid for the window out of my milk money. In fact the summer of '62 I paid for unbreakable glass in every window of the school. I know this comes as a surprise after all these years but I had your back then Bro and still do