Click for Ann Arbor, Michigan Forecast
Sunday February 19, 2017
Follow us: facebook twitter RSS feed
Print Comment E-mail

Obit for the O Team



When Ann Arbor first organized a slow-pitch league in 1969, it was "a happening," recalls Rec & Ed honcho Larry Dishman, who umpired games that year. The sport embodied the zeitgeist of the counterculture, expropriating the National Pastime from the elite few and making it a dusty ragtag democracy.

Slow-pitch was a rebellion of sorts against the difficult game popular on diamonds in the Fifties: fast-pitch softball (which my dad and brother-in-law both played). By comparison, virtually anyone could hit a huge ball thrown in a lazy arc. Even stoners could play--or at least have a lot of laughs trying.

Nearly waist-length hair under my baseball cap, I organized the "People's Softball League" in Detroit. For years I played on the Rainbows and wore their uniform of tie-dye shirts. Our league was part ball, part child care collective, part traveling potluck. Often, when it was a player's turn to bat, we had to wait until he or she ran in from kid-watching duty on the playground.

As kids ourselves we'd played pickup games on sandlots or streets. For us, slow-pitch was yet another way to reconnect with our Inner Child, even after we had our own Outer Children. Not that we really needed another excuse not to grow up.

Bookmark and Share
previous  ·  1 l 2 l 3 l 4 l 5 l 6 l 7  ·  next page
all on one page
read more stories here -> Marketplace  l  Culture  l  Community  l  News

You might also like:
custom blinds and window treatments, flooring, and furniture
top of the lamp. All your in home lighting needs.
Holiday Inn Ann Arbor. Comfortable Hotel, a home away from home.
Become of Fan of the Ann Arbor Observer on Facebook
A visitor's guide to Ann Arbor