American Pastime

A child of the ’70s, I spent numerous summers and Fourths of July playing baseball. This simple steel-and-chainlink backstop, which corralled errant pitches and foul tips for 50 years, served a constant. As kids, we naturally leveraged the cage’s utilitarian function, clamored to sit on its short shelf of a roof, leaned lazily against its sides in the dog days of summer and traded gossip within its shadows. Through blazing sun, driving rain and winter snowstorms, this anchor was present. Seemingly engaged at the height of spring and summer, sad in fall and disconsolate when frozen runoff brought hockey skaters to its base, the backstop remained. Whenever returning to my hometown, I tried visiting the field. Directly across the street from my childhood home, I’d commune when circumstances permitted. Upon my last admittedly hectic visit I don’t recall the backstop being present. The thought yet another piece of my formative years is gone, absent and forgotten, I choose not to believe. Maybe, within the distraction of seeing a few extra sites, this bellwether was overlooked. Regardless, though the spot may now be bare, this backstop forever lives in the grass field of my youth.
Date: May 24, 2004
Camera: Olympus C3000Z
ISO: 1000
F-stop: f/5
Shutter: 1/500
Lens: Variable fixed, 6.6mm
Post production: Macphun Filters for Photos


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