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And Just Like That It's Over

by Tom King

After a few days off it's good to be back...(at least for a few days-I'm heading to the Twin Cities for a couple of days later this week). I spent most of my days off at Memorial Field in Plover for the American Legion baseball Regional Tournament. Our Wausau Post 10 squad pulled off a couple stunning wins on the first two days of the tournament over Plover and Marshfield...but couldnt pull off the feat twice. Plover beat Marshfield on Sunday to earn a trip to the State Tournament this week in Marinette. They should have an excellent shot at winning and advancing to national play. A deep pitching staff, excellent defense and a tough batting order showed why they were the #1 ranked team all summer. Alot of these players will be back for Spash next spring as well.

We should also mention Marshfield's Daulton Varsho whose future is very bright. He's the son of former major leaguer Gary Varsho but I'm thinking that someday Gary will be known as Daulton's father. We couldnt get him out...and the other teams couldnt either. He also moved from catcher to shortstop this season...not alot of guys can make that move and do it well. 

The end of the Legion season is always sudden no matter when you lose. We spend 7-8 weeks with these guys...three nights a week and every weekend. It's usually an intense experience especially at the end when most of the lineup is made up of players who will graduate out of the program. Players who have made the commitment and shown up for most if not all of the games. I've done it for 31 years now and it doesnt get any easier. Thanks to Dylan Detert, Nick Janke, Logan Taylor, Brad Knoblock, Andrew Wolfe, Jordan Huehnerfuss, Justin Duffy for their efforts as they head off to their futures. Next summer will be the final year that Legion Baseball will allow some college freshman to play depending on their birthdate. We have several seniors who are eligible to return...Cole Nelson, Scott Kieper, Walt Grau, Nick Stubbe & Matt Christian. Hope to have them all back.The younger players on this years squad who can also return were Eric Daniel. Andrew Block, Willy Brand & Dalton Decker.

Summertime used to be about baseball & golf. Those were summertime sports that we engaged in as kids. Not anymore.

Young athletes are being pulled in all directions now. High school coaches demand that players hone their craft all summer long for every sport. And mostly in organized ways (camps. tournaments and leagues for every sport...seemingly every weekend and alot of weekdays). It makes it difficult for underclassmen to make a 7-8 week commitment to Legion Baseball. I understand the dilemma and try to accommodate our players. You dont see alot of three sport athletes anymore...and probably won't .

With our work  schedule its good to have a few days off to stay up late and sleep in although even when I can sleep in I'll still  get up before 6am. Did catch up on the final two episodes of "Mad Men" Interesting way to end the season. Next year is the final season and it should be fun following Matt Weiner as he tries to tie it all together. Packer training camp has opened but just like pre-season baseball games the pre-season football games hold little interest for me. I'll follow the progress of the guys we know are going to make the team but the intense analysis going on about guys who have no chance to make the roster seems to me to be a waste of time and print. Even though the Brewers are out of the race there should be some excellent pennant races in the next two months.
Songs Of the Day   (from my I-pod) Mama Tried-Merle Haggard (1968) Could there be a more evocative country lyric than "I turned 21 in prison doing life without parole"? Haggard wrote this about the pain he caused his own mother after being sent to San Quentin back in 1957. Don't know what this tv show was going for with the merry-go-round...doesnt really fit the song.

Mama Told Me Not To Come-Three Dog Night (1970) A Randy Newman tune that went to #1 for the popular (at least with the fans if not the critics) band. I don't know if they catch the sarcastic humor that Newman intended but it's a funny cautionary tale no matter who does it. Think of it as a musical "Reefer Madness"