It's been a beautiful June day, and this morning I walked over to a part of Central Park that I don't think I've shown you all before.
At the foot of this curving pathway is an area that includes softball fields. These fields are the site where various amateur softball leagues compete during the warm months.
Some games are scheduled after office hours, at twilight, for teams made up of corporate office workers. Other teams are composed of players who work at night. Today's scheduled games featured Broadway Show League teams.
Chain link fencing surrounds the outer boundary of the entire area, but the various individual ball fields are marked by colorful markers on the lawn or sandy surface. There are some small bleachers for friends, family and passersby like me to sit on, but I think it is more fun to get close to the fence.
I was fortunate to watch a great game between the casts of two hit Broadway shows, An American in Paris, and Hamilton. Hamilton is due to pick up a lot of Tony Awards at the June 12 ceremony. Their softball team is also remarkable.
Some cast members had brought their dogs along to the game, but those pups knew that they weren't allowed on the field.
The Hamilton team wore yellow and green tee shirts. American in Paris went for the blue and grey. The above picture shows the record keepers for each team going over their score keeping records to make sure they agreed on who was actually on the field, due to bat next, and even what inning was just being played. Many of the players certainly relied on these two fellows to keep it all agreeable. There were also two umpires who made decisions about whether a pitcher's toss was a strike or a ball, or whether a runner beat a throw to first base. This is very low tech; there is no scoreboard, only the official clipboards.
I understand just a little bit about cricket, and urge those of you who don't understand softball (a variation of baseball) to just enjoy the photographs of adults going back to childhood fun on a glorious day.
I watched some of the innings from the American in Paris bleacher area, and then as the sun took over that shady spot, I moved over to the Hamilton side of the field. Those Hamilton players were really good. I was interested that each team had several female players who filled the catcher's position. The catcher is the one who catches the pitcher's toss if the batter doesn't hit the ball out into the field.
The home plate umpire stands just behind the catcher.
Even though we were in the midst of some Broadway stars (none of whom I would recognize, having not seen either show) it was all just a very relaxed atmosphere.
A camera man from a local television station recorded a few innings and there were also several other professional looking cameras on the scene.
Most of the team tee shirts had players' names or nicknames on their backs. Some of the nicknames were quite funny
The little one in the following picture was pretty oblivious to it all.
I think that the fellow in the following photograph (number 1) might be a star of the show because several folks wanted to take their picture with him. We just smiled at each other. He was very young; many of the players were not so young. Lin-Manuel Miranda, the big star and creator of Hamilton, is not on the team.
Hamilton won, by a score of 8 to 2. I think that I will return to see some more of their games. The team had a great spirit and were very good sports, too.
At the end of the game both teams ran out to the middle of the field to congratulate each other on a good game.
The rest of us strolled away, some to another part of the Park, some like myself walked home to make a sandwich for lunch
It's been quite a few years since my own work schedule allowed me to follow the drama of this particular league. The freedom granted me by my retirement now allows me to reacquaint myself with this very enjoyable city view. I almost forgot to mention that these games are totally free, no tickets required.
Thank you all for your visits and kind words about my recent knitting post. I hope to see you here again.