My first season in Little League was in the summer of 1963. Our team was really bad! We were playing in our last game of the summer and we were 0-7 for the season. I was playing in left field...probably to keep me safely away from the action of the game. I was positioned just past third base when I spotted the cutest girl watching through the fence. She had long gold curls and was wearing a light blue dress. I would shyly turn just to catch a glimpse of her...hoping to catch her eye. As I peered under the brim of my cap, I saw her waving at me, then she was bouncing on her toes and waving at me. I couldn't believe it, she was waving at me!
I was frozen. I tried to smile. Then I saw that everyone was waving and pointing and shouting. I turned to see the ball hop and stop right between my feet. I tried to pick it up with my frozen fingers but they were numb and nonfunctional. I fumbled, kicked and chased the ball and then tried to scoop it into my glove but only managed to propel it through the air...directly into the waiting glove of the third baseman at the split instant that the runner was about to reach him.
He was out! The game was over...we had won 1-0...and as they say, the crowd went wild!
I turned to search for the little girl. I couldn't see her. I glanced back and forth...then I spotted her...there she was. She was waving, really waving...and this time she was waving at me!
I managed to smile.
I never spoke to girl in the light blue dress or saw her again but I can close my eyes and see her waving at me...bouncing on her toes...golden curls springing!