My passion as a kid was Baseball. From the moment the weather changed from from frigid cold to acceptable to grip a ball…I was out there. If there was no one around, a wall a chalk outlined rectangle & my imagination was all I needed to hone my pitching technique. From the CYO Leagues at St. Scholastica to Rosedale Park Summer League, to West 7, my summers were filled with Baseball Nirvana!
Then I discovered girls! Not just any type of girls mind you…this was somewhere around 1975-76. Now the guys my age can relate because if you remember back then, (& I still do) it was a great time to be a hormonal teenage boy! Aside from Baseball Game of the Week, & This Week in Baseball being on TV, we had…Love American Style…& The Love Boat teaching us all about sexual orientation on TV. Afternoon Delight was the hit song on the radio, as well as the Stones telling us how we can’t get no “Satisfaction”. Furthermore…& like my father before me, I was taught the “Catcall”. For those of you in the dark on this…I’ll clue you in. A catcall is when you do “that” whistle to/at/towards a woman…typically with the intent to compliment/get their attention/….but thirdly often harass.
Now…I know I’m relatively new to blogging, & despite the fact I’ve only like 5 followers at this point…3-4 of you might be wondering why I’m choosing to go off topic. Especially the day after Jake Arrietta threw his 2nd No Hitter in his last 11 regular season starts (between 2015-2016)
Nor did I miss the fact that Alex Gordon (KC Royals) went “gap-robbing” against Justin Upton & Detroit Tigers & ran a country mile to rob Upton of a sure extra base hit. Gordon, to the amazement of all of Kauffman Stadium covered 123 feet tracking the ball with a route efficiency of 97.5% at a top speed of 18.6mph!!!
No…my desire to write my semi-unusual sports blog has been interrupted by a ear & eye opening conversation I had with my Daughter the other night. Stay with me here now…cause I’m gonna bounce back & forth here for a bit. My love for MLB can only be eclipsed by the love for my Wife & Daughters (& Son). So when I hear of something affecting them negatively…it stops me in my tracks & I take notice…& like most Husbands/Dads…I react!
Before I became a husband & a dad…I was just like most teenagers growing up here in the States. Baseball consumed my every waking moment until the summer of 75. Suddenly Beth Young became the girl of my dreams…as was Sandy Winters, Cathy Guidot, & well you get the idea. As a stumbling uncool (new to game) teen…the only way I knew to convey that I found these girls pleasing to the eye was…to catcall. You know…the wolf whistle. It’s as old as flirting is to Grandma Moses. You see it exemplified in movies typically with construction workers & pretty secretaries. The guys whistles…the girls blush…it’s all supposed to be innocent fun…..right? That’s what I always did…every time I saw a pretty girl…it was “my” attempt of saying….” Wow…I think you’re hot/attractive/(insert adjective here)…& I want you to know I appreciate your look!” As I got older, I admit I would still whistle at woman…albeit not as demonstrative as my younger self. Never did I consider the recipient….not until the phone conversation I had the other day (are you still with me…like I said,I know I’m bouncing).
During the conversation with my Daughter the other night, she begins to tell me about how a car with 2 guys “slow roll” alongside her for like 3 minutes all the while catcalling & carrying on like fools. As she said…”3 minutes in real life seemed like an eternity”. My Daughter, (Bless her Heart) stood her ground & angrily responded back with questions back to them…”Would you treat your Mom…or your Sisters this way?” They continued to harass her for about 3 minutes until she could affect an escape. This was not her first encounter with this type of harassment, as a matter of fact…it’s a quite common occurrence. As she stated to me…on this particular day, she was not “anything to look at”. She works at a Pre School so she normally comes home covered in cookie crumbs & kiddie fluids….plus it was like 90 degrees that day. Yeah buddy she gave “hot” a whole new meaning!! The point being, this was an example of pure harassment…nothing more…nothing less. Suffice to say, I’d like to find these guys & use their heads to play a little pepper….but that’s for another story.
After listening to my Daughter & her dilemma, she told me what she plans to do about this situation. She went on to tell me that her generation (millennials) have the rep of just living with their folks (she moved out at 16) & not doing anything…about anything. Basically she was going to do what I always told her to do with her life….”Take a Stand & Make a Mark”. It was the family credo & she was taking up the challenge! Granted some of the things we discussed bordered on civil disobedience (I read too much H D Thoreau to her) but at least she has passion!
Hours after we hung up, I kept coming back to the conversation in my mind. I couldn’t shake not only what happened to my Kid, but she really made me stop to think about all the times I whistled at a girl/woman. Granted there is no way I was never as bad as the 2 guys she encountered the other day…but after listening to her point of view….? It doesn’t really matter. Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m not really into this new PC world we live in per ce, but after listening to her…guys there’s gotta be a better way….the only way….end it!
Once upon a time things were simpler. 2 Divisions in MLB, no Wild Card…simple. Beer was on tap or in bottle or can, non of this micro-brew IPA crap…simple. Men held the doors open for woman…guys would never harass woman in public…men had honor….simple.
I sit here in da Box Seats aghast at what I see at what is happening in society…beyond the Bleachers. Most of us that love MLB are men…fathers, husband, brothers, sons. We all have connections to woman that are so very close to our hearts. This post is personal plea from me to all that takes the time to read this: The next time you think about “catcalling” a woman….put your wife/mom/daughter in place of that woman….& then ask yourself if you’d want them treated the same way? Bottom line guys….it’s insensitive as Hell & just plain wrong!
Thank you so much for letting me go so far off topic. I promise to return to more topical content with my next installment. As always thanks for spending some time with a View From da Box Seats!
#Baseball #MLB #Cubs #Royals #Dodgers #Kershaw #Arrietta #Gordon #catcalls #catcalling #socialchange #socialjustice