Amerige Park today is a melancholy vestige of her former glory. Where Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Walter Johnson, Honus Wagner, Pie Traynor, Rogers Hornsby and Joe DiMaggio once played on her holy turf and blessed infield, the splintery wooden bleachers and posts are gone, replaced by impersonal, lifeless aluminum. The flavor is gone, the resonance missing, and the spirit lacking. Where the sight-lines from home plate once featured tawny hills where Basque shepherds herded their fleecy flocks, and vestal virgins in Golden Hill and Sunny Hills in short shorts and pristine white shirts rode their gentle mares and kindly geldings, now the wretched batter in his despair sees only a roiling ocean of development, rude strip malls, vicious traffic, foul fast food outlets and incommodious commotion.
Is it any wonder no one bats .400 for the season any more?
The grizzled old timer, his knees wrapped in blankets against a chill, cringes at the tinny bats, the effeminate uniforms of every gaudy shade, the sissified base-running, and the wimp-worthy spike-less shoes that threaten no baseman. His rheumy eyes glaze over and he imagines Gordon Carter stepping up to the plate, and his brother Gary -- The Kid -- Don Martin, the full complement of McGuire brothers, fierce and martial, Mike Staffieri, El Purviso, The Raczka Express, and all the Giants of the Sunny Hills Earth. His daughter calms him, and together they walk to his Ferrari to ride home to tony Newport Beach in desolate sadness. They pick up Mom, once a Junior Class Princess, from Hot Yoga, and rush home to watch a Tony Robbins special.