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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Talented Tuesday - Baseball, A Family Affair

I have written about the baseball players in my paternal line.  Well, guess what?  My mom was a baseball player too!

My mom was reared on a farm in Woodward County, Oklahoma.  She is the youngest of seven children, so with her parents, they had their own baseball team.  The parents, Mitchell W. and Mary (Steinmetz) Hoag, taught their children to play baseball.  The baseball players were Florence, Elena, Mary, Gilbert, Mitchell Jr, Dale and Clara (mom).

I knew from my grade school years, that Mom played softball one summer back in the mid '60s.  I asked her if she had ever played on a town team before.  She wrote back her story of playing baseball in the field on the farm. Most country kids can identify with the concept.  All you had to do was pick the places that would stand for the bases.  They had a good supply of bats, gloves and balls.  Mom would practice catching the ball by tossing it in the air.  Once she had perfected this skill, she began throwing the ball over the garage and,  running as fast as she could, catching the ball on the other side.  She wasn't allowed to throw it over the house, as a window might get broken.  The garage was just big enough to house the Model A car.  By the age of nine, Mom could throw the ball into the air and hit it with the bat.

In elementary school, sixth grade to be exact, she played the position of catcher.  She was the only one who could throw the ball to second base.  This is the position that she played during her softball career.

In the '60s when we moved to Kansas.  This little community played baseball and softball, after the school term ended for the year.  One year they didn't have enough girls to fill the high school girls softball team.  Three moms volunteered to play on the team!  Mom stepped up and played catcher.  She could still throw the ball to second base and she wasn't afraid of being hit by the batter.  The local clothing store, Oser's Department Store, was their sponsor.  This was the only time Mom played softball as an adult.  She had four children, the youngest being two years old, at that time.  The next summer, she was expecting number five; who arrived in November.

My mom also played basketball in high school.  Oh, and, hum..., well..., no, I didn't inherit those genes!

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