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.

 

Relax.

Sit.

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.

 

My dad introduced me to baseball in the 1946 Cards – Red Sox World Series.

 Cards won.

 He won money.

 He was always a  National League fan.

I want to be an Acerero,

 I want to be a Leon ….

 To float off in a seat to baseball parks, fields ….

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 ….

Winding walkway down, out of the ballpark, out of the puddled parking lot,

 To another bus, other fans walking with me ….

 Watches and time, watches and time ….

 The Leones’ team bus, with a huge painted orange lion on each side, passes me … to the team hotel ….

 The Acereros drive their cars home ….

The bus, like the cab the night before, down down to the flooded low city center ….

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!

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