Remember donkey baseball? Slow-pitch softball, really, but it was all played on donkeys. During the blistering hot summer, farmers and ranchers would all come to town on Saturday night, especially when the carnival was in town. If the carnival included a donkey baseball team, a game was often scheduled as a fund-raiser in small mid-western towns. Town dignitaries (mayor, school prinicipal, city councilmen, teachers and other well known people) would choose up sides to play donkey baseball. The well-trained donkeys were supplied by the carnival, and would take commands only from their handler, who had a microphone and also was the play-by-play announcer.
After hitting the ball, the batter had to mount his donkey and ride to first base. Fielders had to ride their donkey to the ball, dismount, pick up the ball while holding onto the reins (or some other part of the donkey), remount and be sitting on the donkey when they threw the ball. Often times the fielder would reach the ball in no time at all, especially since the batter might be having trouble mounting his donkey. The fielder’s troubles began trying to pick up the ball as the donkey would only allow the fielder to get within a few inches of it, or maybe allow him to pick up the ball cleanly but not let the fielder remount. Watching the town dignitaries “handle” their donkeys was always funny, but it quickly turned hilarious when a “runner” got caught in a pickle between first and second base. It was a slow-moving game, but lots of laughs and good wholesome fun.
That’s what six-year olds playing baseball reminded me of last night. Nothing more entertaining than watching 4-6 year old boys trying to execute the commands of their coach.
Thought for the Day: Seat belts are not as confining as wheel chairs.