Shane stepped in the fast cage at Fun Acre and swung the 40-ounce bat first. Of course, after watching him, I had to try and swing a bat that weighed the same as that which Josh Gibson, Babe Ruth, and Shoeless Joe Jackson used. I made contact with every swing and called it a success. It made my 31-ounce bat feel like a toothpick in comparison and was a great way to finish the night.
There are three different National League teams I can cheer because of their Royals connections.
- Colorado Rockies — Wade Davis and Drew Butera.
- Milwaukee Brewers — Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas.
- Chicago Cubs — Ben Zobrist and Terrance Gore.
Each of these teams seem to be a better option than cheering for any of the AL teams currently in the playoff hunt, even though the Oakland A’s are kinda fun this year, too. Shane came by the house early Sunday morning before heading to brave the coasters at Silver Dollar City. I followed through on Shane’s bet, wearing the Cubs jersey for the second day of the catch playing tour across Springfield.
On the drive, he told me the story of breaking his hand, having it crushed in a forklift accident. He worried about being able to throw his forkball-knuckleball. I can testify that he need not worry.
We started the day with St. George’s Donuts, recently voted the best in Missouri.
At Missouri State University, we celebrated the 20 players in Coach Guttin’s program who have made it into the MLB as we soaked our shoes in the dew on the ROTC field.
Jenny Lincoln Park was the third stop, where we took infield practice and turned a few double plays.
A game of catch at (and over) the fountain on the square after learning about the historic Wild Bill Hickok shootout, followed by Drury University for the second collegiate stop on the center city tour.
And the last game on the sidewalk in front of Hammons Field, recently voted the AA best field of the year. Again. Job well done Brock and Derek!
Then off to Silver Dollar City for a day full of epic roller coasters including Time Traveler (which I’m pretty certain was inspired by Dreamfield) and a nice picture of Chateau Pensmore on the return trip home.
Nine months ago, I knew neither Shane nor Shaun. I am thankful for these new catch-playing friends who will finish their trip with a Springfield Cashew Chicken dinner.