Monday, April 23, 2012

And the Wind Continues......post season Baseball Assignments

Youngest son Hal flew into Buffalo yesterday afternoon, once step ahead of the major eastern storm that is heading towards the northeast....and will be driving into Toronto for a work related meeting today....it looks like he will be driving into some snow...April 23rd?

Having lived for a couple of years in the Mohawk Valley of Upstate New York, I know what April and May, even June can bring...so the snow of this week should come as no surprise up that way.  I can remember June 5, 1971, at Griffiss Air Force Base, when a C5A landed at the base, and I was assigned to provide security for that larger than life plane...June 5th it was, and it was a snowing....large, heavy, flakes, coming down on my security vehicle, and the two young Airman I had assigned to guard it the massive plane, on that day.....

The winter of 1970-71 was so cold and snow infested,  the piles of gritty, grimy, snow, stacked off the base runways didn't totally melt until early July...we had over 300 inches of snow that season, my first winter back from Vietnam...damn I hated that.   Hated it so much in fact, that I volunteered to go back to Vietnam and Southeast Asia..."Sure they said, if you'll extend your enlistment for another two years"...well that ended that...no way I was staying in the military any longer than I had signed up for.   So I was stuck in snowy Upstate New York for two winters.....

This winter past, and the month of March were well above normal temperature wise, and we received very little snow in this area of Ohio...the latter part of April it seems, will try to make up for some of that "nice" weather.  The wind has been a constant...and the once above normal temperatures have settled into the normal and a bit below normal range, we have however remained dry for the most part.

With this past Friday, a rare day off from baseball, I awoke early Saturday, knowing that I had a double header scheduled at Wayne Trace...a 9am double header to boot.  The rain from Friday, as light as it was, had ended, but the cloud cover stayed as I drove the 35 miles north to the windy diamond, located in Blue Creek Township of Paulding County.  The neon clock/temperature sign read 37 degrees when I passed though Van Wert on my way....it would stay cool and windy for the next 6 hours.  I worked the plate the first game, a 8-4 North Central win, and the gear helped me to stay warm....by the second game, this a 9-5 Pioneer victory, the temperatures had risen into the mid to upper 40s and a peek on occasion the sun would make....not comfortable conditions, but I have worked in worse.

This afternoon it's back to Paulding County, this time in the county seat of the same name...to work a NWC League game between the home standing Panthers and visiting Ada...hopefully the visiting Bulldogs don't start off like they did last Thursday, when Columbus Grove put up a 25 run first inning(an all time Ohio Varsity record), on their way to a 42-4 win....one of the most lopsided games in Ohio High School Baseball history....in these windy conditions, we don't need that.  I had Ada last Monday at Lincolnview, they lost, but it was actually a competitive game most of the way...hopefully today's will be likewise.

The Post Season....just around the corner____

Yesterday I checked my e-mail just after the noon hour, and saw a couple of messages from the Ohio High School Athletic Association...I clicked on it's website at myOHSAA, and saw three contracts up for the District Baseball Tournaments.  The District drive won't be far this year....as I am assigned to the Coldwater Division 4 District...just an eight mile drive.  May 16th and 18th, a Wednesday and Friday are the dates...and my partners are Garry, who I work often with during the regular season, and Big Ed from the St. Marys Association.  Ed has nearly 40 years of High School umpiring under his belt, and although we don't work a lot of spring baseball with each, we do work often in the Summer in ACME games....should be a good crew, and this District will  likely have several good teams, which probably will include the defending D4 State Champions from Minster, if they make it out of their own Sectional.

The three games in District will bring my total of post season assignments to six...with three sectionals, 2 at Lima Shawnee, and another at Convoy Crestview(whose sectional feeds into the Coldwater District)...this also will mark the 4 time in 5 years I have received a District Assignment{last year being the exception}...to go with the Regional assignments over the same years.....

Flyers Win!

My favorite hockey team, Philadelphia, moved on to round two, the Eastern Conference Semi Finals yesterday.  They knocked off hated rival, Pittsburgh, 5-1 to take the best of seven series 4 games to 2....The Penguins had entered the Stanley Cup Playoffs as favorites....but the prim dona Pens couldn't handle the rough and tumble Flyers, despite their efforts at "Gooning it Up"...55 goals in total were scored, and with scores like 10-3, 8-5, and 8-4, it hardly seemed like playoff hockey....but we will take it, as Philly awaits their next opponent, yet to be decided.

 Speaking of windy, this post was long winded enough today....so I will cut it loose for now...

 back later>>>>

Photos-The C5A...at that time in 1971, the largest of the fleet in the Air Force...Me in from of the Security Police living quarters in the winter of 70-71 at Griffiss AFB....some of the 300 inches of snow we received that season...my first back from Vietnam...The District Assignments are out, and I will be working the 3 man crew at Coldwater this year in Division IV....and the Philly Flyers move on!

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