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Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie and RAIN

Editorial by Bobby Tingle

You have to love baseball. Is there anything more dramatic than the pitcher-batter duel that transpires with every pitch? Well, yes, in our case there is also the battle of dodging the rain.

When the regular season ended for high school baseball and softball, who would have ever guessed the impact rain would have on the playoffs.

In the May 4 edition of The Orange Leader, Sports Editor, Van Wade, reported, “Four Orange County District 24-4A diamond teams will be diving into playoff waters this week. ”

Maybe Van doesn’t understand baseball? Does he know the difference between baseball and water polo?

Well yes he does, but he also understands the impact of rain on outdoor sports. You can play any sport in the rain, but it is not always wise.

You have to consider the possibility of lightning. You can’t play if there is a chance of lightning. It’s hard to dodge lightning.

But if you do play in the rain, well there is collateral damage.   Wet baseballs are slick and hard to throw. Baseballs absorb water and get very heavy. When dirt mixes with rain it turns to mud. Running in mud makes holes. Just like driving down a dirt road in the rain makes potholes.

The best time to pull weeds is after a good soaking rain when the dirt is muddy and the roots pull out efficiently. But athletes running on wet grass in mud just tear up a field. Their cleats aren’t as discriminating as the hand pulling weeds from the garden. So to protect the fields, rain causes games to be cancelled, or postponed, or moved to another location.

But coaches want home field advantage.

With game time still several hours away, Van passed by the LCM field on game day. At noon, with a game scheduled at seven that evening, the field was surrounded. Fans had their places staked out, chairs surrounded the field. Even with rain in the forecast, fans showed up, with umbrellas, to cheer on their Bears.

Coaches will fight you for that advantage. And I don’t blame them!

You have to love those baseball fans. You have to love competitive coaches also.

As I write this column, the Bears and the Cardinals are scheduled to play at seven Saturday evening. The winner of those games, if played, will move on to the next round of dodging rain, I mean high school playoffs.

And don’t forget why we have a three-day weekend. There is nothing more American than honoring deceased veterans of all the wars fought by American forces.

Memorial Day is Monday, May 30. This year’s is the 148th anniversary of this annual tradition. Memorial Day began as Decoration Day to honor the fallen soldiers of the Civil War.

Orange County Veterans will hold their 13th tribute Sunday, May 29, at 6 p.m., at the Heritage Veterans Memorial Plaza, 3810 M.L. King Drive in Orange.

This will be a patriotic event featuring the Southeast Texas Color Guard, Patriot Riders Motorcycle Group, Vietnam Veterans Mobil Museum, Orange Community Band and other patriotic music. Come out, rain or shine, and honor our deceased veterans.

Bobby Tingle is publisher of The Orange Leader. He can be reached at bobby.tingle@orangeleader.com