The Pennington Vipers stunk, and I mean real bad. However, no matter how bad, the Vipers were still the biggest show in the county. In truth there weren’t that much to compete with but, believe me, folks loved ‘em. Jennings ballpark was the place in town to laugh, to cry, to boo, to get drunk – usually all four. Every Friday night was a party when the Vipers took the field – win or lose, and there were twenty hard years of losing before that night.
Bottom of the ninth, bases loaded. With two out the Viper’s had one last chance to win the game: to get their first winning season since Hitler waved the white flag. The stands were rockin’ as ‘Wobbly’ Joe Lugarno stepped up to the plate. Joe had been tipped for greatness in his younger days; however, an over active eye for the ladies, as well as a thirst for one too many cold beers, had seen him ending his career back in the minors. With the pitcher eyeing his pray, Joe still had time for a thumbs-up to his fevered fans in the stands, as well as a lubricious wink towards a blushing young female in the front row.
In it came – a fast ball – and darned if Joe didn’t connect flush. As the ball steepled into the reddening night sky all heads turned. Over the infield and into the outfield it sailed. My eyes were trapped, watching, looking, praying – and there she was. In the background muffled cheers came and went. That was the first time I saw my Vera. Those bright red curls never did fade. Until our final years together they still glistened, red as ever.
As another Series hits the retirement home TV, my mind again goes back to that night at Jennings. Oh and in case you’re wonderin’ the damned ball hit the fence and ‘Wobbly’ was run out at third. The Vipers lost, but heck, it was still a night to remember at the ballpark.
These 333 words, based on the third definition of the word ‘Boo‘ , form my entry into the Trifecta 101 writing challenge.
I was inspired to do a Baseball story because it really is World Series time in the USA. I’m not a real follower of America’s summer sport but, as a big New England Patriot’s fan, I’ve developed a soft spot over the years for all things Boston. Therefore I’ll hope you’ll allow me the indulgence of ending this trailer with two words – Go Sox!