Monday, May 20, 2013

My Tornado Story

I have a tornado story.

I lived in Pryor, Oklahoma in the mid 1970s when a tornado hit just outside town.

I was on a little league team at the time and I took little league quite seriously.

The tornado hit during one of our scheduled games. So, I road my bike to the park in the rain storm before the tornado. Several other players and assistant coaches were there. The people who could call of the game weren't.

Since no one could call off the game; We started playing.

It was really hard to throw the ball between bases. If you tried throwing the ball from second to third it would only make it half way. When trying to throw from home to first, the wind would catch the ball and carry it to right field. We rolled the ball instead of throwing ... which worked fine.

The pitcher had a hard time adjusting for the gale force winds ... walking most of the players.

Now, here is the best part: If you could even tap the ball; you'd have a home run. If you could connect solidly; you wouldn't just hit the ball out of the park. You would hit it out of the county.

The prospects of an easy home run was fun. But it was also problematic because we only had a few balls.

Anyway, while we were playing the game, a police officer showed up and asked why we were playing baseball in a tornado.

FWIW: I play by the rules even when the rules are not too my convenience.

We showed the officer the rulebook. The people who could call of the game stayed home because of the tornado warning. So we had no choice but to play.

I don't know how he derived his priorities, but the officer seemed to think that tornado sirens should trump little league rules. He took upon himself the authority to call off the game. This was okay with us because we had already lost several balls and didn't have money to buy new ones.

I was unable to ride my bike home because the roads had turned into streams. I road out the rest of the storm in the basement of a stranger.

During the next practice, the coaches told us the rules of the game were changed and that games were automatically cancelled in severe weather events.

No comments: