20 Summers

November 17

A boy’s life playing ball . . .

When we played softball, I’d steal second base, feel guilty and go back. ~ Woody Allen

If softball was any easier, they’d call it baseball. ~ Jennie Finch

Regarding the title, there is obviously nothing of current demeanor requiring immediate blog reportage. So, what better time to bring up the Mavericks. A slow pitch softball team generally manned by federal employees of the Employment Standards Administration within the Department of Labor. I played on this team beginning in the mid-70’s to the mid-90’s. The team management and core players remained consistent for most of that era. And we developed into a rather successful group at it. Here we were hosted by the then Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich, who was the Department’s head honcho from 1992 – 1996, meaning this photo was taken some time in that four-year span. The scorecard (without which one cannot tell the players): l-r: Orlando (Tito), Hampton (mostly hidden), Harry, Tim, Terry (the forever team manager), James, Joe, Eddie G, Richard, me, Jim, Vicente, and the Secretary in front.

[We recently lost James (in the middle in the photo above), which is what provoked this trip down memory lane. The photo below (and the photo at the end) are from the funeral home website. It is so James – his gesture after a good play. The team became championship caliber when he joined the team. He was only 65 . . . ]

[Tito, Hampton, Todd, Tim, Harry, Terry, James Joe, Eddie, Richard, Jim, me, Vicente, and the Secretary in front . . . ]

[James, Eddie G, me, the Secretary, and Hamp . . . ]

[Where we all worked. It was a brand new building when I started work here in 1975. I’ve seen reports the Department wants a new building . . . ]

[We played along the Potomac River, here on the Tidal Basin Ellipse (Potomac River and 14th Street Bridge in the background). This first batch of photos are from 1979 (though I took many such photos over the years that were never translated to digital) – Craig is at bat, Bill on deck. These fields subsequently succumbed to the FDR Memorial . . . ]

Softball, it’s more than just a game! ~ Coach Dave (Bill at bat, John on deck.)

I have no idea why it’s called “softball,” that thing hurts! ~ Jim Stewart (Bob on 2nd, Craig on 1st, Jim coaching.)

Hit the ball, head right, take three lefts and you’re home. ~ Mike O’Halloran

Softball is what old men play to try to feel young again. ~ Wallace Patrick (Bob at bat, the other Bob coaching 3rd.)

Everyone thinks softball is a girl’s game. But you only think that until you get hit with it on a line drive. ~ Jerry Smith (Arlen at bat, Bob and Vic coaching 3rd.)

I never taught my girls to play golf; they all played softball. ~ Nancy Lopez (Craig on deck, Bob at bat, Vic coaching 3rd.)

Sometimes the only thing fair in life is a ball hit between first and third. ~ Unknown (Bill on deck, Craig at bat, Vic coaching 3rd.)

What I love about the game is that the game doesn’t know who is supposed to win. ~ Sue Enquist (Craig on 1st, Jim coaching.)

If winning isn’t everything, why do they keep score? ~ Vince Lombardi (Bill at bat.)

He’s 20 years old. That’s what stands out. Most people are 21 at that age. ~ Harold Reynolds (Bob on 1st, Jim coaching.)

My favorite machine at the gym is the vending machine. ~ Caroline Rhea

[Beer after the game was SOP (a different teammate brought a cooler for each game). It was not a lawful activity on these government properties. The Park Police were aware of such activities but generally left the league alone as long as we otherwise behaved . . . ]

Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It is already tomorrow in Australia. ~ Charles Shulz (Chris pitching.)

Remember, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday. ~ Dale Carnegie (Batting practice, Terry leaving, Craig entering.)

Education is learning what you didn’t even know you didn’t know. ~ Daniel J. Boorstin (Vic batting.)

All the things I really like to do are either immoral, illegal or fattening. ~ Alexander Woollcott

Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died. ~ Erma Bombeck (Bill batting.)

The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us. ~ Bill Waterson (Jim coaching.)

Whoever said money can’t buy happiness didn’t know where to shop. ~ Gertrude Stein (Terry coaching.)

All men are equal before fish. ~ Herbert Hoover

When you go into court you are putting your fate into the hands of twelve people who weren’t smart enough to get out of jury duty. ~ Norm Crosby

I am only human, although I regret it. ~ Mark Twain (Chris batting.)

What the world needs is more geniuses with humility; there are so few of us left. ~ Oscar Levant (Dennis batting.)

When a man opens a car door for his wife, it’s either a new car or a new wife. ~ Prince Philip (Tom batting.)

I dream of a better tomorrow, where chickens can cross the road and not be questioned about their motives. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (Gary batting.)

I know that there are people who do not love their fellow man, and I hate people like that! ~ Tom Lehrer (Terry pitching, Chris shortstop, Tom leftfield.)

A rich man is nothing but a poor man with money. ~ W. C. Fields

Insanity is hereditary; you get it from your children. ~ Sam Levenson (Arlen batting.)

He knows nothing; he thinks he knows everything – that clearly points to a political career. ~ George Bernard Shaw (Vic again, otherwise also known as being in the opening scene of the 1979 move The Seduction of Joe Tynan. The movie opens with a distant shot of the Washington Memorial, then a sole jogger crosses the screen. Sitting in the theater, I immediately recognized it was Vic . . . ]

Everything is funny, as long as it’s happening to somebody else. ~ Will Rogers (Dennis outfield, Bill 2nd base.)

It is a scientific fact that your body will not absorb cholesterol if you take it from another person’s plate. ~ Dave Barry (Terry pitching, Tom leftfield.)

Everyone has a purpose in life. Perhaps yours is watching television. ~ David Letterman

If you think you have it tough, read history books. ~ Bill Maher (Bill batting.)

I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific. ~ Lily Tomlin (Chris batting.)

Every time something pops in my head, I think twice about it and I do it anyway. ~ Gilbert Gottfried

Let Canada have hockey. If they beat us in obesity, then I’ll start to worry. ~ Jimmy Kimmel

Anyone can be confident with a full head of hair. But a confident bald man – there’s your diamond in the rough. ~ Larry David (Dennis batting.)

Confidence is 10% work and 90% delusion. ~ Tina Fey (Bill scores.)

I’m not for everyone. I’m barely for me. ~ Marc Maron (Tom on bases.)

A day without sunshine is like, you know, night. ~ Steve Martin (Tom scores.)

When you’re in love it’s the most glorious two and a half days of your life. ~ Richard Lewis (Gary batting.)

I didn’t give you the finger, you earned it. ~ Bill Murray (Dennis & Bill.)

I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying. ~ Woody Allen (Arlen & Gary.)

Sports are the reason I am out of shape. I watch them all on TV. ~ Thomas Sowell (Craig catching.)

If your parents never had children, chances are… neither will you. ~ Dick Cavett (Bill & Vic)

A bargain is something you don’t need at a price you can’t resist. ~ Franklin Jones (Terry, Tom & Chris.)

Love conquers all things except poverty and toothache. ~ Mae West

[This was pretty much the end of the purple and yellow uniforms era . . . ]

[About half of this group moved on to the next stage . . . ]

[This was in era when playground tennis was at its peak. These courts were right next to our softball fields, so we occasionally participated here after a game. I seem to recall that monolith in the distant background . . . ]

All right everyone, line up alphabetically according to your height. ~ Casey Stengel

I did not climb to the top of the food chain to eat carrots. ~ Ron White

[The “new” uniforms for the pre-1985 Champs . . . ]

[And then the 1985 Champs. It was becoming a regularity . . . ]

I would like to die on Mars. Just not on impact. ~ Elon Musk

[Scorecard: front, l-r: Lowell, Eddie G, Tito, Penny, Jim, Fitz; back, l-r: Uncle Dick (sitting), Craig, James, Ed Kaz (league commissioner), Hamp, Bob, Don, Terry, Tom, me, Bill . . . ]

[1986 Champs]

[Jim and Ruth Anne]

[Uncle Dick]

[A cheerleader]

[Alex and Brigette]

[Bill – and in our respective retirements have joined our respective “supervisors” on tours of the world . . . ]


[1988 Champs]

[1992 Champs, still with access to the Ellipse fields . . . ]

A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt (Lowell in the outfield.)

A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing. ~ Emo Philips (Hamp, Richard, and James visit with a member of the loyal opposition.)

Friends are people who know you really well and like you anyway. ~ Greg Tamblyn (Game over, time to par-tay.)

[1994 Champions]

I don’t believe in astrology; I’m a Sagittarius and we’re skeptical. ~ Arthur C. Clarke

[Front, l-r: Lowell, Tito, Eddie G, Todd, me, Hamp, Vicente; back, l-r: Edgar, Jerry, Tim, Terry, James.]

People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do. ~ Isaac Asimov (My Brother’s Place was across the street from the Department – occasional socializing took place there.)

[Beginning coverage by the Cub Reporter . . . ]

[Or about the Cub Reporter in the early years . . . ]

[And the somewhat later college yearrs . . . ]

[Hitting the Big Time, on Sunday, August 27, 1995, the Mavericks made the front page (not the sports page) of the Washington Post . . . ]

[After one wraps up their athletic careers in softball and golf, one . . . ]

[See the group above . . . ]

RIP James, it was a pleasure to have known you . . .

Ah, the Princeton-Harvard game. Today’s winner earns the right to create disastrous foreign policy. ~ @OldHossRadbourn

The Kentucky Derby is coming up. This year, the horses may be subjected to a surprise drug test. Isn’t everything a surprise to a horse, though? ~ David Letterman

You forgive people. We built Nixon a library. ~ Doc Rivers

I’d like to apologize Jazz fans that were offended by my tweets. If I knew you guys had internet in Utah I would’ve never made those tweets. ~ Vernon Maxwell

Up Next: Winter sports . . .

3 thoughts on “20 Summers

  1. You had many many fun years with the guys. Wonderful memories for you. Can’t get over the really short and tight shorts some of your softball team was wearing back in the day,. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

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