Scouting report: Softball Tournament; Team Ville de Stanstead

Made reconnaissance trip to Beebe ball field for charity softball tournament on reports that the Town of Stanstead (Ville) would be entering a team and on assumption that, carrying municipal banner, team would surely include the cream of softball talent in the border area.

Arrived at field to see team smartly dressed in matching uniforms, warming up, snapping balls, stretching, flexing, hydrating, an impressive sight. Quickly learned that this was not the Ville team but opposing team. Asked around and was pointed to what looked like a group of tourists waiting for a bus. And the bus was late. And it was headed to a destination no one particularly wanted to visit. This was the town team.

Our fearless leader

Upon further investigation, learned that team was coached by town councillor D. Bishop. Also learned that “coaching” consisted of a) assembling team, b) randomly generating batting orders, c) organizing high fives when returning from the outfield. Unorthodox coaching style best described as “not actually caring about winning.”

Bishop joined by one other town councillor (P. Stuart, indeterminate age/mobility) and mayor himself (P. Dutil, age between 65 and defibrillator). Remainder of team consisted of Leisure Dept. employees (2), neighbours (3), children (2), grandchildren (1), friend (1), spouses (1) and a three-member family that must have been part of ill-considered trade deal since third Stanstead councillor (G. Ouellet) seen playing for a non-Ville team that actually looked like they had chance of winning the tournament. (Note: They did not.)

Decided to stay and watch Ville team on off-chance there was diamond in the rough or at very least comical tripping over second base.

Team warmup consisted of some players half-heartedly tossing the ball, other players catching up on what their children are doing these days.

Offensively, Ville players could hit the ball but were hampered by tendency to run towards first base as if into a strong headwind. Batters also demonstrated accuracy, aware at all times where opponents were standing and hitting directly to them. Player thrown out at first, back thrown out at second.

Fortunately, Ville team invigorated by teen players A. Murray, J. Stone Jr. and M. St-Pierre. Remarkably, St-Pierre was appearing in her rookie game as softball player, requiring instruction on how to swing a bat and how it really doesn’t matter if your ballcap comes off on the way to first.

Defensively, team could be described as “ecclesiastical,” as there was a lot of praying, both for the ball not to be hit to them and for the inning to finally end.

Special mention should be made of R. Murray (left field), who proved inspirational to spectators by playing with severe disability; Murray born with complete absence of athletic talent. In two tournament appearances, Murray batted like he’d only ever read about softball in a pamphlet someone left at his door, and ran like someone who recalled a fraction too late just how old he was.

Murray particularly drew attention in the outfield, where he approached opposing batters with a combination of concentration, dubious depth perception and an existential interpretation of quantum mechanics whereby the ball, as it hangs in the air over left field, is simultaneously caught and not caught; AKA Schrödinger’s At-Bat.

But usually not caught.

High marks to Murray also for contributing to all-important softball chatter from the bench, including such helpful advice as “Keep your eye on the ball,” “Wait for your pitch” and, after the team’s first run during the final inning of a 12-1 game: “Rally!” Also pointed out to opposing pitcher that if he struck out the mayor, his tax bill would go up.

Murray likewise vocal in the field. During many (many) missed fly balls and grounders through his legs, could be heard muttering what might have been “Foul!” or perhaps “Fly!” or quite possibly “Fun!” Definitely sounded like “Fun!”

Upon these occasions, Murray would chase down runaway ball and, aware that he could not throw far (shockingly not far at all), would toss ball to centrefielder J. Stone Jr., who would launch it to the pitcher. Fellow fielder and father J. Stone Sr. did likewise, resulting ultimately in Stone Jr. probably wrecking his arm, but he’s young, he’ll get over it.

Final tournament results for Team Ville de Stanstead: 0 wins, 4 losses, 1 home run, 1 bruised councillor, 1.5 bruised egos, 0 ambulance calls.

To Ville team’s credit, there was zero smoking in the outfield. Not even the mayor.

About rossmurray1

I'm Canadian so I pronounce it "Aboot." No, I don't! I don't know any Canadian who says "aboot." Damnable lies! But I do know this Canadian is all about humour (with a U) and satire. Come by. I don't bite, or as we Canadians say, "beet."
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14 Responses to Scouting report: Softball Tournament; Team Ville de Stanstead

  1. Sounds like fun. And I’m sure the backfield chatter was worth the price of admission.
    Some sort of natural law governs games with bats and balls, and creates a weird attraction for all you intellectuals. It doesn’t seem like a smart game – hit a piece of stuffed cowhide, run around in dirt, scratch yourself, stand on plates – but here they are, thinking quantum mechanics, and it was no accident that Schrödinger played catcher on Charlie Brown’s team.
    In high school, I had a lot of time to think, sitting on the bench, and it seemed like batting maybe involved trigonometry, with the catcher flashing cosines, but it didn’t help.

  2. ksbeth says:

    backfield chatter and shrodinger’s cat ran away from home ran towards home. a perfect game.

  3. Glad to hear no one got hurt. The Raptors should hire that Murray guy though as their play-by-play. He might explain why they were simultaneously at and also not at the playoffs.

    Great post.

  4. pinklightsabre says:

    “Ecclesiastical” is good, and hard to type/say after a couple beers, and strong headwinds headed to first.

  5. markbialczak says:

    Fun! More suitable tournaments for some teams could be those one-loss-and-out kind, Ross.

  6. cat9984 says:

    If they’re still playing, you might want to schedule Charlie Brown’s team next year (wait until Snoopy has a day off) 🙂

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