The Great American Pastime

May’s weather can best be characterized as gawd awful . . . and then came yesterday!

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[A beautiful day for a ballgame!  I hadn’t been to a Cardinal baseball or softball game all spring . . . we were either traveling or, well, that weather issue.  Here senior Danny Kuhn delivers the first pitch of the game to the Rocori Spartan leadoff hitter.  Danny struck out the side in the first – sometimes a bad omen.  The conference rivals came into game with almost identical records – 11 – 6 for the Cards, 11 – 5 for the Spartans.]

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[I will feature Mr. Kuhn a lot, along with his senior leftfielder, Spencer Lucas, because their moms, Beth and Pam, have been longtime fellow gym attendees with the Fat Boys Walking Club.  Danny has missed part of the season with a bad back, and Beth said he’s pitching with a herniated disc.  Oy!]

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[Danny is greeted by his teammates after his perfect 1st inning.  After the Rocori pitcher struck out the side in the bottom of the 1st, it appeared we would not be having a slugfest.]

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[Pam (3rd from left) is the team’s photographer and was set up down the rightfield line so as to not have to shoot through a chainlink fence.]

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[Unfortunately, the Spartan pitcher matched Danny’s effort in the 1st, here getting Brayden Amundson, junior centerfielder (also football and basketball).]

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[Noah Hittle, junior first baseman (and hockey player), lead off the Card’s 2nd with a line single to left.]

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[A good cut by Parker Revering, senior shortstop (also a hockey player).]

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[Grant Toivonen, senior 2nd baseman (and basketball player), on first.  The Spartan leftie had the Card hitters off balance most of the game.  Surprisingly, Grant, our only leftie hitter, had the best swings all game – he hit the ball hard every time up.]

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[The aforementioned Mr. Lucas, senior leftfielder.  And what a nice game he had –  a couple nice hits including a bunt single (he can move his puppies) and a couple of nice running catches in the outfield.]

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[The Spartan leftie was tough.  We didn’t even have threat until the 6th.]

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[And Mr. Hittle.  Though he mostly played JV hockey this winter, I really liked his game.  Great shot and always seemed mellow . . . not mellow disinterested, but mellow “everything’s cool.”  Had the big hit in the game to get us back into it.]

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[Spencer’s on 2nd – must be our big inning.]

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[I believe this is Kris Setterstrom, senior rightfielder (and basketball).]

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[And Noah on 2nd after a double.]

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[Jack Steffl, junior outfielder (and hockey player), laid down a perfect bunt.]

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[Chris Leary, senior pitcher (and hockey player), came in in relief.  Danny pitched well, but the Spartans scored twice in the 2nd and twice in the 6th, mostly on Card miscues. The Card comeback began in the bottom of the 6th.  We finally got the bats going and scored 4 runs to tie the game.]

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[Things looked great in the bottom of the 7th as Lucas attempted to sacrifice the winning run into scoring position.  This was the only time my mentor, Jim Pohl, and I agreed it appropriate to sacrifice an out – to advance the winning run a base.  Spencer subsequently bunted for a hit.]

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[Setterstrom sacrificed the runners to 2nd and 3rd.  The next hitter was intentionally walked to load the bases, with one out . . . ]

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[Our 3rd and 4th hitters, Travis Krueger, senior 3rd baseman (and basketball player) and Hittle could not get the winning run in.  I stayed for one more inning but then I knew the Super had din-din waiting.  I knew that missed opportunity would bite us – the Spartans won 10 – 5 in the 12th inning.  But the Cards came back to win the nightcap, 8 – 4.]

I must be in the front row.  ~  Bob Uecker

Up next:  Another pastime?

About tomobert63

The Journey Begins Thanks for joining me! This is the follow-up to the original, “,” which overwhelmed the system’s ability to handle it any more. Thus, this is “Part 2.” As the original was initially described: 10-26-07-4 “It all began in a 5,000 watt radio station in Fresno, California” . . . wait a minute, that was Ted Baxter on the Mary Tyler Moore Show! Let’s see . . . oh yeah, it all began in 2003 when retirees, i.e., old people, in Alexandria, Minnesota, who had no desire to become snow birds, went looking for mid-winter entertainment here in the frozen tundra of West Central Minnesota. We discovered girls’ high school hockey, fell in love immediately, and it remains our favorite spectator sport to this day. Initially, and for several years, reports on these games were e-mailed to those who were actually snowbirds but wanted to keep abreast of things “back home.” It was ultimately decided a blog would be more efficient, and it evolved into a personal diary of many things that attracts tens of readers on occasion. It remains a source of personal mental therapy and has yet to elicit any lawsuits. ~ The Editor, May 9, 2014 p.s. The photo border around the blog is the Cardinal girls’ hockey team after just beating Breck for the state championship in 2008. It’s of the all-tournament team. The visible Breck player on the left is Milica McMillen, then an 8th-grader – she is now an All-American for the Gophers. The Roseau player in the stocking cap I believe is Mary Loken, who went on to play for UND; and the Cardinal player on the right, No. 3, is Abby Williams, the player we blame most for making us girls’ hockey fans who went on to play for Bemidji State. *********************************************************************************** Photos contained herein are available for personal use. All you have to do is double click on any of the photos and they will become full screen size. You can then save them into your personal “My Pictures” file. They make lovely parting or hostess gifts, or holiday gifts for such as Uncle Ernie who wants to see how his grand niece is doing on the hockey team. If any are sold for personal profit, however, to, for example, the Audubon Society, National Geographic, Sven’s Home Workshop Monthly, Curling By The Numbers, or the World Wrestling Federation, I only request that you make a donation to the charitable organization of your choice. You have two hours and fifteen minutes. Pencils ready? Begin! **********************************************************************************
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