For 103 years Centennial Field has been home to Vermont Baseball and it's finally showing signs of age. The mound, like a bum hip, needs replaced, the outfield seems to need a cane to stay level, and like any 103 year-old, it's getting harder to see in the dark. But to quote Satchel Page — who pitched past his 59th birthday — "Age is a case of mind over matter, if you don't mind it don't matter."
And it especially don't matter when you have fans and boys who want to play ball.
I was at the Lake Monsters home opener the other night, and you would have thought Major League Baseball approved the stadium for 15 more years. You could barely keep the thought of losing the team in your mind during the nearly nine innings of shutout ball. Everyone had the stomach for hot dogs, the energy to dance between innings, and the stamina to watch the winning run in the 10th.
The spirit was undoubtedly alive in the stands, but it's anyone's guess whether it will prod the "supporters" in City Hall, The State House, and beyond. Hopefully they don't shake off the sings coming from the stands.
And one more thing, what's so bad about an outfield with a few lumps? Now, I'm not condoning an outfield that resembles the foothills of the Green Mountains, but do you think Satchel Page played on level fields when he was in the Negro League? Do you think minor leaguers have always enjoyed perfect lighting? Of course not. That's what makes theses young ballplayers tough — it's probably the reason someone like Satchel Page lasted as long as he did.
After all, this is Single-A ball, not the show, and certainly not the ballet. I like baseball. I like when the games are dirty and tough. But now I'm rambling. Play ball!