I can still hear young voices yelling...SCRUB! One!....Two!....Three!....Four!....and so one, depending on how many of us there were on the playing field at the time. Spring weather always makes me think of my elementary school lunch hours. I'd race home, gobble down my soup and sandwich as fast as I could and race back to school. It was a fifteen minute walk each way but in the springtime, I'm sure I ran it in about five. Yeah, I was that keen.
Scrub was the only kind of baseball I ever played. There were organized teams of Little League but they were for boys only. If girls wanted to play they had to join in a Scrub game - usually at school. The first person to yell "Scrub" was the first batter up. All the positions on the field depended on what number you called after that. Pitcher, catcher, first base and so on until you ran out of kids. After the first batter, the play rotated through the positions until everyone had a turn - if the game lasted long enough. School lunch hours were never long enough for more than three or four rotations.
I loved playing baseball. I was never a great player but I really, really loved it. I loved the sound of the ball hitting the bat. Even better was the feel of the hit when I actually managed to connect. Even a foul ball was fun. I loved pitching the ball - and this I was truly bad at. Catching was easier but it was the one position I didn't like as much. Somehow standing at the bases and waiting was a lot more fun than standing behind the batter. I never liked outfield much because I never could catch anything that came out that far. Not that I caught a lot - or hit a lot, either.
The best part, though, was running. Running for the ball. Running out into the field. Hitting the ball and just running for first base. I wasn't a fast runner so if I managed to get a decent hit I was probably out by the time I got to first. But the running was a nice release from the standing. And running was what we kids did all the time. To this day, baseball is the only team sport I can watch with with any enthusiasm - I don't watch much anymore because watching is pretty boring. It's so much nicer to play than to watch a game. Do kids still play Scrub?