I’m glad I went to the Barnstormer’s home opener, even though they lost 2-1, giving up the winning run as a result of a wild pitch with a man on 3rd. I did get to see Chubby Checker again. I saw the very 1st performance of the Lancaster Cheerleading team, and I got to meet the stars of the local women’s Roller Derby team, The Dutchland Rollers. “There’s Women’s Roller Derby in Lancaster?” I asked them. Hey, if I knew that last year, I might have skipped a few baseball games. I’m a big fan of Roller Derby. We used to play it in the streets in my old neighborhood. Using an elbow to steer an opponent into a parked car was a fair play in my neighborhood. Heck, pushing them into a moving car was only a 1-minute penalty.
So, I got to talk to the young ladies. They didn’t really have a choice. They were all gathered near the entrance giving out flyers to their next game. They were all in uniform, complete with roller skates. Most of them looked like kids. Remember, many years ago, when we didn’t trust anyone over 30? Now, anyone under 30 looks like a kid to me. Some were quite pretty, especially for Roller Derby stars, and they all looked comfortable on their skates. They weren’t just acting. “Anyone related to Charlie O’Connell?” I asked. I’m not sure they knew who Charlie O’Connell was. He was a Roller Derby superstar back in the ‘50s. “How about Dynamite Mike Gammon?” He’s was Charlies son. A real speedster on the track.
The San Francisco Bay Bombers were the best team in Roller Derby. They travelled around the country beating up whoever dared to skate against them. The New York Team was The New York Chiefs. I can’t remember any of their names, because everyone rooted for the Bombers. They were that good.
That was in the ‘50s. Can you imagine anyone named Dynamite Mike in a “Bombers” jacket being allowed on an airplane today?
“The team can board the plane, Mr. Smith, but we’re going to have to detain the one named Dynamite Mike for Security Reasons….”
So, The Dutchland Rollers play the Mothers State on May 7th. I intend to be there. I love this town. It’s so alive with culture.
Oh, back to the ballgame, they had actual cheerleaders. Almost 20 young girls in short shorts and tiny t-shirts, did a few cheerleading routines on the sidelines. The temperature was in the 40s and there was a constant cold mist falling. They had to be freezing. Plus, the routine called for them to roll on the floor. The floor here being a field of wet grass. I had to put on an extra jacket just to watch them. They were really troopers, though, and I hope they show up for more games, and I hope that none of them caught Pneumonia.
Chubby Checker sang The National Anthem.
After the 3rd inning Chubby came out again and twisted with the crowd for 5 minutes as we tried to get into the record book for most people in one place dancing to the Twist. The current record was held by a town in Mississippi, that had over 3,100 people twisting for the required 5 minutes. I don’t know if we broke their record. The weather kept a lot of people away from the ballpark, but we did have the entire bullpen twisting away with us. You don’t get that in the Majors.
The Barnstormers almost pulled it out in the bottom of the 9th inning. They were trailing by 1 run and had men on 1st and 3rd. The Barnstormer Centerfielder came to the plate and struck out swinging.
The team also gave out free Slinkys to the first 1,000 patrons. Tomorrow is $2 beer night. Does it get any better than this?
I’m born again. There’s new grass on the field.
Put me in coach. I can be Centerfield.
Peace & Love, and all of the above,