OLD TIMER’S BASEBALL TALE
By Norris Chambers
Baseball is a very popular
now and fans pay unbelievably high prices to sit in the stands and
when the old timers were kids baseball was a popular sport. Where
All school games were played on outdoor fields. The field was usually a cleared area at or very near the school facility. The baseball playing field was equipped with base markers adapted from cement sacks and sand. Cement was packaged in canvas bags in those days. A diamond shaped wooden block was the home plate and two tall polls with chicken wire made an effective backstop. No seats were provided for spectators and those not able to stand and walk the side liners brought a stool or chair.
In addition to school games ambitious and energetic citizens organized leagues among the area communities during the summer months providing entertainment for sports fans.
In addition to the school and community games there were leagues prepared by the oil companies in the area. Several large companies such as Humble and Phillips had producing leases or plants in our area and prepared teams from among their employees to compete in the leagues. The fields where these teams played were usually close to one of the facilities and were nothing more than clearings in the woods with a nice backstop and bases. Some of the fields were equipped with sideline benches for the watchers.
these fields was not far
from where I lived.
The fans who followed these company teams were enthusiastic watchers and their cheers and auto horns could be heard for over a mile, depending on wind direction and weather conditions. The old automobile horns of the twenties were intentionally made loud to be heard above the noise of the vehicle. One of the important uses of the horn was to urge livestock to move out of the road.
The horn had other uses around the farm or ranch. It was being used to call cattle to a regular salting area for the monthly salt bait. While the cattle were busy licking the salt off of the flat rocks or troughs the attendants were busy counting them and checking them for health problems. To cattle the horn had become a signal to come quick for a treat!
particular Sunday afternoon
a big company game was in progress. A batter hit a long fly ball into
and trotted around the bases for a home run!
In a very short time the ball field was filled with bawling animals and the spectators had taken refuge in their automobiles and other likely places. Several had climbed nearby trees. Some of the cars were leaving.
It was a long time before the disappointed cattle drifted away and the crowd considered the area safe. The game had to be replayed at another field.