A neighbor coach, once a player, told me he wrote an essay that said,
“‘No game today, rain!”
He received an A, and a warning not to try that lazy, if creative gimmick, again.
Rain blew in and down from settled clouds atop the Sierra Madre Oriental in Monclova, Mexico.
The white-blue uniformed Acereros of Monclova were supposed to play the orange-uniformed
Leones of Yucatan.
Mexican Summer League, and come fall, Mexican Winter League.
They would manage only two plus innings in two damp twilights and nights.
Before the game: some running, catch and the magic of “pepper,” soft bat, soft hands ….
Players at ease; players loosening.
Two steel mills beyond the outfield lights and ad-loaded fences and walls discharged gray smoke that mist fog haze and rain.
I read that we Amricans are watch watchers,
While Latins are participants in and of time ….
Look at rich green grass, red infield dirt.
Look at the blue tarp handlers – pulling the billowing canvas over the already soaked grass and dirt.
Acereros visited with Leones, friends in the ancient league.
To be one with baseball ….
The rain pours.
The mountains disappear in smoke haze clouds rain.
The tarp becomes a gigantic swimming pool, if shallow.
I walk in water-over-my-shoes out of the parking lot, look for a cab.
Hard for drivers to find riders in the dark rain.
The stadium guard uses his yellow illuminated baton to nab a cab.
Down down into the flooded city.
I try again – next day – and this time take a bus filled with steel mill and rail-car manufacturing workers to the park in hills high.
The sun shines – doubleheader scheduled.
I settle, having mulled more watches and time.
No tarp, grass a deep green, rich red dirt,
Players running, playing catch, and “pepper’s” crisp pace ….
I look up – and within five minutes, off the peaks gray-layed clouds mound –
And the rain begins, and the tarp-men start unrolling, covering ….
The Acereos and Leones disappear into their deep dugouts,
And the doubleheader is called off in a quarter hour ….
Eugene “Gene” Novogrodsky, late June 2014
Author: Gene Novogrodsky
Eugene “Gene” Novogrodsky, a Brownsville resident for nearly three decades, writes North American border slices, from eastern Canada to central Mexico, and in between. He is one of the founders of the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center Writers Forum in San Benito. He sometimes participates with the informal Resaca Writers Group in Brownsville. He prefers, however, to read to two or three attentive listeners – when asked!