One year into retirement, following are a few “idle” thoughts:
• Time continues to fly. Hard to believe it has been 12 months since the final day of work and a subsequent open house. Thanks to all of those who passed along kind thoughts and best wishes.
• All of a sudden, it doesn’t matter as much what day or what time it is. A little different than figuring out when and where to have lunch, knowing when the next event starts and hustling to meet deadline.
• To my good buddies still in the full-time sportswriting business, it’s only a few days (July 30) until the start of high school fall sports practices. Another short summer indeed.
RECENT JOURNEYS have ended up at various Little League fields for All-Star tournament action.
• It’s fun to watch the 9-year-olds get their first taste of All-Star action and then watch them progress up to 12-year-old Majors which is probably the most entertaining age of Little League to watch.
• Standing on the sidelines of Little League is a treat, watching the parents fret while their sons and daughters are simply out there having fun.
Joe Garagiola, former Major League catcher and broadcaster, when asked his idea of Little League, responded, “Give the bats and balls to the kids. Send Mom and Dad home.”
SPEAKING OF baseball, in a column earlier this year, we predicted the New York Yankees over the San Francisco Giants in the World Series. That’s the way it was 50 years ago with Whitey Ford and Mickey Mantle leading the Yankees over the Giants who featured Juan Marichal and Willie Mays. Still might happen.
We also predicted the White Sox to finish third in the A.L. Central and the Cubs to place fourth in the N.L. Central. Still might happen.
• The Sox, with 11 rookies on the roster, have been a pleasant surprise but they face some difficult road tests the rest of the month. The Sox have only three more home games in July.
• Cub fans must remain patient, which they are not prone to do. Anthony Rizzo is not the next Lou Gehrig, just like Corey Patterson was not the next Lou Brock. The new regime seems to be on the right track, but it will take time — and luck.
SKYLAR CARPENTER, the track and field sensation from Westview, was certainly the star of the 2011-12 area high school sports season. Her seven state championships in three years are truly amazing.
• There were several other local standouts, along with Skylar, and congratulations to all. Best wishes to those moving on to college and those returing for more prep memories.
• It has not been this warm or dry in the area since the summer of 1988. Little League fields and golf course roughs are among the casualties in what is turning into a “Dust Bowl” scenario like in the 1930s.
DRIVING AROUND the area, it’s sad to see the lack of “pickup” basketball, baseball or softball games at our local parks and playgrounds. Are we just allowed organized activities? Just wondering.
• There are some big local golf tournaments on the local calendar coming up, like the Goshen men’s tournament the last weekend of July and the Elkhart County women’s event in early August.
• Kudos to Brandon Keim who recorded a hole-in-one on the par-four No. 15 “Apple Tree” hole at Maplecrest Country Club in Goshen on June 3. It’s Maplecrest’s first-ever ace on a par four in 51 years, although there have been some double-eagle “2s” on the par-five No. 9 hole.
• Still planning to cover some events during the upcoming sports season and write some features and columns. Keep on reading.
Stu Swartz is the former sports editor for The Goshen News