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Playing Baseball

October 12, 2011

We are currently in the midst of Major League Baseball playoffs and that has me pondering the role of baseball in our family history.While it seems as though recently football has usurped baseball as the “great American past time,” for most of the 20th century, baseball was indeed America’s game. Babe Ruth set the bar for baseball players for many decades. Joe DiMaggio and Lou Gehrig were the heroes of boys everywhere. Informal games were played in school yards, sandlots, and farm fields; people listened to games on the radio and boys across America dreamed of playing in the “big leagues.”

In their downtime from farming and lumbering, the boys and young men would enjoy a game of baseball amongst themselves.

Playing Baseball on the Daggett, MI Farm

Playing Baseball on the Daggett, MI Farm

Oscar Baseball Team

Oscar, Unknown, and Biz (Loren)

Last week I found a picture with the caption on the back saying, “Well, I declare! Part of Daggett’s first baseball team.” Oscar and “Biz” (Loren) Aderman and an unknown third man (standing in the middle) are shown in the picture. Oscar was the catcher until he got hit in the face with a ball and had trouble overcoming his skittishness after that. His baseball glove was quite small and poorly padded by today’s standards. Oscar had large workman’s hands–the glove would have been a tight fit for him.

Oscar’s son tells of playing catch with his Dad. Of course, he was sure his Dad was “out of it” and would not know a thing about baseball. He was surprised and humbled when every kind of ball he threw at his Dad was caught–his Dad was really good at baseball!

Old Baseball Glove

Oscar’s Baseball Glove

Old Baseball Glove

Top view of Oscar’s Baseball Glove

From → Aderman/Bates

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