Outside Looking In

Memorable moments

While pitching for the Tracy VFW baseball team many years ago, I witnessed something I'd never seen before, or since, during a game.
Until Saturday.
First, let me explain what happened in my baseball game.
In the VFW game at Wabasso, we were leading 2-1 in bottom of the seventh inning. Wabasso had a runner on first base and two outs. The next batter then hit a high fly ball out to right field. I turned and pointed to our right fielder as if to say, "Easy catch", which would have ended the game.
There was a problem, though. The right fielder was not there. I soon spotted him running behind the home run fence from right field to center field.
The fly ball fell harmlessly to the ground, caromed off to the right and settled in foul territory. By the time our center fielder and first baseman raced to retrieve the ball, both runners scored, and we lost 3-2.
My dad, who was the VFW coach for 30 years, couldn't believe his eyes. By the time the right fielder finally came back to the bench, my dad's face has turned reddish purple. He tried as calmly he could to ask the runaway right fielder what he was doing. There might have been a few additional words squeezed into the sentence.
"I saw some baby rabbits and was chasing them," came the response.
All my dad could say back was "Hop on the bus, Peter Rabbit."
I have covered, attended and watched an infinite number of games since then, yet nothing had compared to that bunny-chasing incident .... until Saturday in Porter.
I was attending Porter's annual Harvest Festival to take some photos for the Mascot. One of the new events this year was a Kickball tournament, which replaced the slow-pitch softball tournament.
There were seven teams entered in the Kickball tournament, which included various ages and both male and female participants.
During one game, Josie Frank of Canby was patrolling center field for her team made up mostly of high school boys. A player on the opposing team booted a lazy high fly right to her.
Frank let out a squeal as a large object fell to the ground beside her just as the ball bounced out of her arms and fell to the ground. Without hesitating, she scooped up the object and held it to her ear as a teammate retrieved the ball.
"What were you doing, Josie?" a teammate asked.
"I was talking to my mom," she replied with a laugh, tucking the phone into the waistband of her shorts.
Two batters/kickers later, another fly came in her direction. This time, Frank made the catch as the phone flew from her waistband and bounced on the ground.
As play resumed, Frank could be seen removing the phone from her waistband every now and again to check for messages.
After the game was over, I spoke with her as she laughed at every question I asked.
I told Frank that it looked like everyone was having a good time playing kickball and that some of the players took the game serious and some didn't.
"I don't take it too serious," she said with a big smile.
That was a little obvious.
I could almost hear my dad saying, "Get on the bus, T-Mobile."
Welcome to the digital age.

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