top of page


By Bob Bridge, Columnist


The toned-down tempo of retirement has afforded me ample time to reflect on that balance sheet of life. Some of the memories I revisited have been pleasurable and others forgettable. That’s OK, into each life a little rain must fall.

As expected, a few of the remembrances are related to baseball. I recall a particular game from Little League. We were playing a rival with a meticulously landscaped diamond set in front of a cornfield.

No, the road game was not in Iowa.

An opposing slugger bashed a ball over our right fielder’s head. Without an outfield fence to retain it, the ball rolled deeply into the plowed cornfield. Undeterred, my teammate continued to chase it.

I stood in right field anxiously waiting his relay. It was perfectly executed, and without looking I spun and hurled the ball toward the plate.

Somehow, our catcher snared the horsehide and tagged the sliding slugger.

A cloud of dust swirled as the umpire shouted emphatically, “You’re out!”

Irrepressible joy ensued.

At age 14, I served as a sub the first few games but was afforded the opportunity to pinch-hit in the last inning of a game with our archrival.

The score was tied with two outs and a man on second. Their ace, a tall lefty, was on the mound.

I drove the first pitch to the gap in right and the runner raced home with the winning run. As I galloped around first and headed for second my pals charged from the third-base dugout to greet me with hearty hurrahs and bear hugs.

Such terrific teammates!

Baseball, without question, is a team sport.

Shortly after moving to Bedford some good friends joined me for a weekend of baseball in St. Louis. We had an absolute blast.

During the seventh-inning stretch Cubs and Cards fans alike rose in unison to join the crowd as it sang “Take Me Out to The Ballgame.” It was such a delicious slice of Americana.

Not all my memories are related to baseball. A friend, troubled by the agony he saw on television following Hurricane Katrina, decided to take a group of Hoosiers to Mississippi to help ease the pain.

Working from daylight to dark, we removed towering trees that had fallen across an elderly woman’s yard, transforming her personal paradise into a prison. By the time we had finished the storm-ravaged real estate looked like a pristine public park.

We stood at the front door as the liberated lady wept with joy and thanked us repeatedly from the bottom of her heart.

Most Christmas holidays were spent with my extended family. We filled our stomachs, watched NFL games, and opened a plethora of presents. But the greatest gift of all was just spending time together.

As I grew older I spent my fall vacations along the sugary white coast of Panama City Beach. Each night, just after six, we’d retreat to the deck to watch the sun dive into the horizon and paint the sky hues of purple, pink, yellow and blue. It was like standing in a kaleidoscope. Our faces were filled with smiles of contentment.

The last time I was there D and I attended a church just off the beach. The music was lovely and the message was particularly meaningful. But what we enjoyed most was when the priest encouraged us to greet those around us.

We shook hands and hugged so many kind, embraceable people. I am convinced such intimacy provides us with the emotional and spiritual nourishment to face the challenges we must confront on a daily basis.

I realized my most revered remembrances include special people. There’s something reassuring about sharing smiles and life experiences.

Aesop asserted: United we stand. Divided we fall.

That’s not a fable, folks. That’s a fact.

Contact Columnist Bob Bridge at 812-276–9646 or

416 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All

댓글 1개

익명 회원
4월 06일

Excellent article Bob

Baseball School ( Boys Club) Bob Baugh yelling to every kid in between innings “ Hustle Run! Like Enos Slaughter”!!!

My dad training me to be a baseball player over at Wilson Park in workouts that seemed to be more fitting at a Gulag than a park ha

Hitting a home run in college at a renovated ( moved) Crosley Field against Xavier.

Feeling the rush of freedom blowing through my hair during that first running workout and all those races around the Pentagon in Washington DC in the 80’s…

Nowadays it’s hard to walk to the bathroom because of the wonderful brutality of all the years of training.

“ I regret that I have but two…

bottom of page