What It Was Was Baseball



Back in 1953, Andy Griffith wrote his wonderful story of a country bumpkin revivalist fellow discovering the game of football as he and his fellow evangelists arrived in this little country town to put on a tent service. Here’s the link to the lyrics – and please know that that there are many other places on YouTube you may find for yourselves to watch Griffith perform his piece on film or tape:


Much later, in 2007, I wrote a parody of Griffith’s parody. Only this time, the countrified discoverer was about to accidentally discover baseball on a tent  revival trip to the major league city of St. Louis.  Naturally, I called this piece “What It Was Was Baseball.” It’s the same theme – with a slightly different story-line recollection from the same guy. I don’t think I’ve ever featured it at The Pecan Park Eagle previously, but if I have – and just can’t find it – or if you’ve read it elsewhere – which is possible – this edition bears some minor rewriting – a tendency of mine with anything i write over time – even with things I write over night. I’m always starting and finishing whole thoughts and stories on paper, but the editor in me is always finding things later that could be expressed a little better.

But that’s my personal pain in the …. neck.

Hope you get some enjoyment from this version.


What It Was Was Baseball

… With apologies to Andy Griffith and his wonderful “What It Was Was Football.”

By Bill McCurdy (2007)

It was back last July, I believe it was. We was going to hold a weekend tent service over in St. Louis, and we got there about dinnertime on a Friday. Well, different ones of us thought that we ought to get us a mouthful of somethin’ to eat before we set up the tent. So we got off the truck and followed this little bunch of people who was passing by the riverbank through this great big giant-size croquet wicket that was plain stuck in the ground by a giant hisself. Didn’t see the rest of them wickets, but based on the size of this one by the river, I figured the rest of ‘em was spaced pretty much too far apart for the human eye to see from one to another. Anyway, about 15 minutes from there, I came up on a big sign that says, “Get Something to Eat Here.”

I went up and got me two hot dogs and a big orange drink, but before I could take a mouthful of that delicious food, or a good slurpin’ sip of that ice cold drink, this whole raft of people all dressed in red come up sudden around me and got me to where I couldn’t eat nuthin’. I dropped my big orange drink and, well friends, they commenced to move, and there wasn’t so much nuthin’ else that I could do but move with them.

We commenced to go through all kinds of doors and gates and, I don’t know what-all, and I looked up over one of ’em and it says, “North Gate.” We kept on a-going through there, and pretty soon we come up on a young boy and he says, “Ticket, please.” And I say, “Friend, I don’t have a ticket; I don’t even know where it is that I’m a-goin’!” Well, he says, “Go ahead in then, but come on out as quick as you can.” And I says, “I’ll do ‘er; I’ll turn ‘er right around the first chance I git.”

Well, we kept on a-movin’ through there, and pretty soon everybody got to where it was that they was a-goin’, because they parted and I could see pretty good. And what I seen was this whole raft of people a-sittin’ in this big sloped-on all-sides arena of chairs, sort of lookin’ like they was all lookin’ down on a rodeo ground with no bulls in sight – or like we was all gittin’ ready for attendin’ a big revival service at a church with no roof. I looked around for a Billy Graham type, or the like, but I never seen nobody like him. All I seen was all them grown men down there, runnin’ around in pajamas, but with their shoes still on. They was two bunches of ‘em too, each wearin’ their own style and color of pajamas, and just galavantin’ around all over the place, walkin’ and runnin’ and saunterin’ over some of the prettiest green grass I ever done seen. Except for some dirt parts, probably caused by that dadgum brown patch beetle, that fine old grass was greener than overripe cheddar cheese on a hot summer Arkansas day.

Somebody had taken and drawed white lines that started at the fences on each side of this here arena and then they went inward to meet each other at a right angle. That place where them lines met up seemed to be pretty important to both of them pajama gangs. As I set down to have a curious look, I noticed they sort of took turns going up there one man at a time and standin’ there with a big stick for a few minutes at the spot where the lines met up. Ever time a man with a stick went up there, one of them guys in the other pajama gang would stand off a distance, about the length of a long flat-bed trailer away, and then try to hit the man with the stick by throwin somethin’ at him. Another one of the throwin’ guy’s buddies would stand behind the man with the stick and try to catch whatever it was the guy was throwin’ – in case he missed his target. Another fellow, sort of a big bandito-lookin’ guy – all dressed in black and wearin’ a mask would stand behind the catchin’ fellow – and just make gruntin’ sounds and point funny with his fingers ever time a throw came in that didn’t hit the fella’ with the big stick.

Ever onced in a while, the fellow with the big stick would hit that little white object that was being throwed. Ever time this happened, he’d throw down his stick and take off runnin’ down the same white line like a cat with his tail on fire. It was like the runner was tellin’ that thrower, “Hey! You missed me, buddy, and you ain’t gittin’ no second chance. I’m outta here.”

Just about the time I pretty much got this strange pajama gang game dadgum close to figured out, the same boy that had said “Ticket, please” come up to me again and said, “Friend, you’re gonna have to leave because it is that you don’t have a ticket.” And I says, “Well, all right.” And I got up and left. Just like they axed me.

I don’t know to this day, friends, what it was that they was a doin’ down there, but I have studied about it since my trip to St. Louis in July 2007. I think it was that it’s some kindly type of a contest where they git two rival gangs of men together who only have two things in common: They each like to wear pajamas and they each like runnin’ around in a vacant cow pasture with their shoes on in front of a whole slew of folks who just sit there drinkin’ beer and watchin’. That shoe-wearin’ part made the most sense to me, ‘cause I sure would want to protect myself too from the likelihood of steppin’ in something by wearin’ shoes in that place.

As for who in their right mind would want to sit around in that big open barn, just drinkin’ beer and watchin’ a bunch a guys in pajamas try to hit each other with a little streakin’ white object, I can’t help you much, based on what I saw and larned. All I can tell you is that all of them St. Louis folks that I seen doin’ all of this watchin’ and drinkin’ stuff – we gotta pray for ’em folks. – They sure did prefer wearin’ red shirts and hats to any other color in the dad gum rainbow. – Makes you wonder who started this activity in the first place, don’t it? – And it also tempts one to wonder too – Do these good folks know they may be playin’ with a dangerous spiritual fire?


 Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle

Houston, Texas





One Response to “What It Was Was Baseball”

  1. Tom Hunter Says:

    I read this here account of a trip to St. Louis for a revival tent service, but have to doubt this man’s credentials as a man of the cloth. How could he not know about baseball when it’s mentioned right there in the very first words of the Bible in Genesis: “In the big inning . . .” and again in the New Testament in the opening verses of the Gospel of John: “In the big inning . . . .”

    I say this man ain’t familiar with the Good Book and ain’t to be trusted.

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