Baseball Stadium

Posted: September 3, 2013 in Recent Posts
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Juan bobo

Juan Bobo and His   

Baseball Stadium

Criollos de Caguas had a very colorful baseball stadium.

Fifty skinny boys sat on the right field wall. They shimmied up a palm tree and waved dozens of broomsticks with butterfly nets on the end. They rarely got a ball, though. The Criollos de Caguas had not hit a home run in two years.

The field was full of holes, ruts, and countless other hazards. An ant colony wiggled under first base. Insects bigger than silver dollars bounced off the bulbs and zoomed around all the players. Two panels behind home plate were covered with cardboard. 

Out in right field, just below the butterfly nets, a sloping mound of red dirt served as the outfield fence and behind it (to keep out the boys) a twelve-foot wall of barbed wire topped a pile of garbage cans filled with broken beer bottles and a narrow hole, partially covered with Johnson grass, that was home to a rattlesnake.

The outfield snake 

Way out in left field lay Filadelfo the accordion player, wrapped in a tattered blanket, sleeping off a drunk. Filadelfo had toured with Mantovani, but now he played only one tune when intoxicated – En Mi Viejo San Juan. When very drunk he also remembered fragments of Mendelssohn’s Spring Song.

Filadelfo was the starting pitcher’s twin brother, and people often confused the two.

DrunkFiladelfo the accordion player 

The field was so run down, and the Criollos lost so many games, that people told Juan Bobo he should quit trying to manage them and find a real job.

But Juan loved baseball. It was a great game for redemption, since it was so full of failure. Just like life. 

The Chronicles of Juan Bobo

  1. Joe Sanchez says:

    Reminds me of the ’70s and ’80s when the South Bronx was burning.

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