Choosing Sides in Baseball
The first step in choosing sides in baseball was a tradition that many are familiar with. The two team captains would both get a grip on the bottom of a baseball bat. Each would alternately more their hand up the bat gripping it as they went up the bat until they reached the nub on the end of the bat. The last captain would get their best grip on the nub and have to hold it out away from their body at arm’s length. The other captain would get three kicks to try and knock the bat out of the grip. If he succeeded, he got the first pick. If the captain holding the bat held on, he got first pick. In our neighborhood it was a great honor to be picked first, but everyone was eventually picked. I mostly remember that in the summer the days were hot and humid but we did not seem to mind or care. The games would literally last all day. Again, our rules made it very fast moving. No called balls or strikes. You went up to the plate and had three swings to hit the ball. Timeouts, delays or time wasting was not allowed. Close calls were argued vehemently but if impasse was reached a coin flip served as instant replay.
The uniforms were our play clothes or dungarees. Most of the gloves were decent but not fancy. Ball caps were from little league teams of the players or favorite major league team