Click for Ann Arbor, Michigan Forecast
Saturday May 27, 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:

The Return of the Trumpeter Swans
Seeing snow white in the spring
Bob & Jorja Feldman
Subscribe to the Ann Arbor Observer
Music: Pop, Rock, Jazz, Blues, & Traditional
Restaurants with Senior Discounts
A clickable zoomable map
Virtual Commentariat
Tweeting city council
A.J. Hogg
Drunken Shakespeare
Patrick Dunn
Not Quite a Sanctuary
Mayor Taylor would rather call us "welcoming."
James Leonard
A Dean Departs
Aaron Dworkin cuts short his tenure at SMTD
Eve Silberman
The Session Room
Turn right at the bar.
M.B. Lewis
Festivals, Fairs, Shows, & Sales
Grillin' 2017 June 11th, 3-8pm - Ann Arbor MI
Volik championship May 22 to 28
spark ann arbor