My Favorite Mental YouTube Baseball Memories

 

I’m talking about visual memories here – not thought memories. Everybody has them. Some people are simply too tied up with thoughts to let the pictures come through. After fifty years of studying the phenomenon, however, I’m come to believe that some people get so lost in thought that they don’t realize that so much memory is like a video sound byte that may come to the surface as a brief movie – or even one that has sound with it. If this has happened for you, what I am about to describe from own my experience is going to very easy to grasp.

My examples here are of two bookend pictures of my first visual memory of baseball to the last visual memory of baseball I experienced in 2017.

My first and last fan baseball plays, both of balls hit to the right side of the field through 2017 occurred in Beeville, Texas and Los Angeles, California. I saw the Beeville play in person at age 2. I watched the Los Angeles play on TV from Dodger Stadium the night of November 1st.

The Beeville Play unfolded one spring night in 1940 at the Bee County Fairgrounds Baseball Field. As a two-year old, I was busy stomping around the right field grandstands as my mom kept up her steady exhortations for me to sit down and watch daddy playing right field. I looked every now and then, but all I saw was daddy, standing out there sideways to us with his hands on either his hips or knees, wearing that grey baseball uniform with the dark blue sox and cap – and that never stayed interesting to me for very long.

Then it happened. I heard the sound of what I now know was a bat hitting a ball – and that was followed immediately by a ball that was quickly headed toward my dad as a line drive to right field. Of course, I had no language for describing the sailing baseball – or the place it was going to reach in quick time.

I just saw, what I saw, what I saw. – And my dad was involved.

Dad ran over and caught the ball on the first bounce and made a throw back to another player standing at second base, inviting a few other baseball concepts that were way beyond my mental pay grade that first baseball memory night.

1938-1940 were my pre-Cambrian baseball fan days, but this first trip to any ballpark involved my dad, and I would learn more, as time went by.

The visual of it all lives forever – as it happened – and as it is now remembered within the context of a single to right with no other runners on the bases at the time it was fielded and held to a one-base hit – by my dad.

I recall other Beeville town ball team fans yelling “You’re the baby, Bill” when my dad came to bat, but I don’t know if he got a hit, nor do I remember who the opposition team was that day – or if Beeville even won. Sometimes the road from darkness to dawn is a rough and shaky one. I’m just glad I had the help I did in finding baseball so early.

The Los Angeles Play dialed in on November 1, 2017. I’m sure I share this one with thousands of Astros fans. Jose Altuve is playing deep on the short field grass when he takes a crisply hit grounder and then carefully flips it to Yuli Gurriel at first base for the final out in Game 7 of the World Series. The Houston Astros are now the 2017 Champions of the World.

Now, seven months since that last 2017 stunner – and 78 years since that first lasting visual introduction to baseball down in Beeville for me, each now flows into my awareness on their own from the Personal You Tube segment of my brain, and pretty much independently – each plays to consciousness whenever each so chooses.

I wouldn’t change a thing. They each are like two visual thought buddies. When they show up, they open your doors wide to – whenever they take it upon themselves to show up again.

Thanks from some of us, Baseball, for all you’ve done to make our lives so much more fun than it is guaranteed to be!

 

********************

Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

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