Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Chicago Photo 6

Meet Hermann. He's been around the world, well not all the way around, but pretty close. He's flown across a bar in Prague, dueled with pigeons in London and relaxed on a beach in Hawaii. So what's he doing now?

Simply enjoying a nice, warm Sunday afternoon at the park. Since the cable company doesn't let you watch TV if you don't pay the bill I had to find a way to entertain myself. A nice walk around the neighborhood was in order.

Along, the way I stopped at Wicker Park to watch them play a little softball. And by softball, I mean softball. You see, for more than 75 years they've been playing a variation of softball in Wicker Park.

The main difference is that the ball is 16 inches and quite squishy. Oh and no one wears gloves. I watched for about an hour and was entertained by the game. Most teams employed the 5 msn infield with a rover stationed behind second base.

From what I could tell, about 90% of the balls put into play were on the ground or flairs just over the infield. It didn't appear to be easy to square up the ball, most hits sounded like a ball of socks was being hit.

Everyone was having fun and it was quite competitive. The homeless guy sitting behind provided commentary which was as entertaining as the game. Kids ran around and girlfriends watched with adoring eyes.

All in all, probably a better way to spend a Sunday than parked in front of the television.


Hackenbush said...

FYI As someone who grew up in Chicago those 16 inch softballs are not so soft when they're new. Many a jammed finger has been caused by trying to catch one. Of course that may have something to do with my smallish hands and overall lack of skill.

mike said...

16 inches? Like over a foot? It is like hitting a dodgeball?

Hackenbush said...

It's 16 inches in circumference. More like hitting a cantaloupe, but not as messy.

dogfacedgremlin said...

Its funny that the 16 inch leagues haven't crossed over the border into Indiana but I know plenty of guys that travel downtown to play in 16" leagues.