Whiskey and Baseball

Lucian-Hamilton Field

Summer is slowly creeping into the room, and I’m starting to wear tank tops and abandoning a blanket at night. I ran out of coffee and now I’m getting a headache. The cats are moving a little more slowly, seemingly without agenda, and sleeping more often as the sound of spring training baseball fills the afternoon air. The announcers are speaking to no one as I go about my daily tasks, and when I finally watch for a while they feign excitement for a team that exists for no other reason than for its owner to extort money from the fans, the league, and perhaps even the city they play in. I love this team but feel pandered to as they try to sell me a bowl of shit and tell me it’s chocolate ice cream with sprinkles on top. (What…no cherry?) There’s a sucker born every minute, and I suppose I’m the jive-ass MF’er P.T. Barnum was referring to when he uttered those words that are soundly more American than apple pie and a lobotomy–thrust into a blender that would be deemed irrelevant in mere minutes and dumped in a landfill. 

I went for an afternoon walk and decided to stop by the modest, pleasantly aromatic (supposedly haunted) Catholic university near my home to watch a bit of baseball. The St. Edward’s Hilltoppers are a division 2 team, with a well-kept playing surface, a view of downtown Austin in RF, and a large awe-inspiring, red-topped, Gothic castle–simply called “Main Building” and built in 1888–that can be seen for miles around slightly left of the diamond.

There was purity on the field that day; an anachronistic system rooted in the previous century that had been missing as players chirped back and forth throughout. Talk of the soil. Distant were the absurd contracts, overpriced merchandise, and owners who had graduated to my drop-dead list, and I was re-learning that I didn’t need every moment to be a psychological revelation instead of understanding that simply dwelling leisurely in time is a luxury.

Distant was the soulless institution of MLB as I took nips of whiskey from a flask that I had bought from a man in what can only be described as “barely a gas station” in some stink-pit outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico. There was a turquoise, sort of abstract eagle on the front of that magical flask, and I’m not sure if it was the booze, the heatstroke, or the hoodoo placed upon the pewter, but I sure as hell felt as free as that screwball eagle at that very moment.

8 thoughts on “Whiskey and Baseball

  1. Pingback: Whiskey and Baseball – Urban Fishing Pole Lifestyle

  2. retrosimba

    Congratulations, Gary, for discovering the simply joy of baseball the St. Edward’s way and for shedding the relentless hucksterism that is professional sports. The state of major-league baseball can be summarized in yesterday’s report that the Angels will pay Justin Upton $28 million this year not to play for them.

  3. cheaphill44

    So Sean Manaea has gone the way of Olson and Chapman. What do they have left? Fans can tolerate mistakes of ineptitude (the Angels with Pujols, Upton, Cozart, Hamilton, etc.), but not just continuing to develop talent for the richer markets. This seems to be one of the biggest problems facing the game, but it is barely talked about, and there doesn’t seem to be any real momentum from either the players or the owners to do anything about it. Lots of fans share your take on college baseball. Here in Nashville Vanderbilt and Tennessee have one more game left in a three-game series, and I saw where tickets are at Final Four prices.

    1. Gary Trujillo Post author

      The problem with the A’s (amonsgst a handful of other teams) is that the owner wants to pocket the roughly 110 million he gets from revenue share that was originally intended for “small markets” to compete. Why there isn’t a salary cap in baseball I’ll never know. What’s holding these greedy billionares back from keeping most of the cash in an ironically and theoretically communist gesture in action? Nothing I suppose. Thanks for the comment, Hugh.

  4. onceuponatime70s

    Here in Scotland, I follow ‘non-league’ football. Basically like The Minors in baseball. And I’m excited that tonight I get to watch the opening day fixtures for 2022 season. (Probably go for the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimps game – east coast games are best for the time difference factor.)
    I’ll still be watching the MLB, but as with Premier League football in both Scotland and England, I think it’s becoming more removed from fans of the game in general.
    Am I wrong? Does this make me a bad person? 😉 😀

    1. Gary Trujillo Post author

      Very, very bad! lol. Thanks for stopping by and commenting….and for anyone reading this, please check out the wonderful blog, Once Upon a Time in the 70’s.


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