Reinhardt Family History
Memories of Eggs and Chickens
Stories from Neil Reinhardt
Baseball, the All-American game, before the time of television and football. Dads tossing a ball to their two-year old sons hoping they would someday develop into major league ball players. It was first played on the school playground, later moving to the alleys or vacant lots in the cities, and to the cow pastures in the country. In a vacant lot game the neighbors are sometimes disturbed by a ball crashing through a window, or by little boys trampling through a garden or flower bed while looking for a lost ball.
In a cow pasture it is entirely different. The grass is mowed every day as the black and white Holsteins or the Golden Guernseys move across the ball diamond harvesting the grass which they turn into milk to be used by the youngsters to grow into great ball-players. You never hear the crash of broken glass, or the yell - 'get out of my garden'. It is easy to follow the ball, as future Babe Ruth's connect to send the ball flying. Even the Babe could not send a ball out of a 100 acre pasture.
The Kraus pasture was a perfect place for a baseball diamond. The grass was mowed everyday by the cows, no windows close by to be broken, or flower beds for baseballs to hide in. The only things we could not use were the bases the cows left behind. In order to play ball we had to first cross a hayfield, then climb through a barb-wire fence carrying a shovel and burlap bags for the bases. The shovel was to remove any evidence left by the cows after the grass had been mowed. If this was not done one of the players might mistake it for a base, and slide with disastrous results.
On a bright sunny day the gang met for a ball game. As the afternoon slipped away to the last
inning of the game, some mistakes were found in the layout of the diamond. The batter had the
sun at his back, the fielders had the sun in their eyes. I was in the field. The batter sent a
liner almost straight at me. Remembering the coach always saying 'keep your eye on the ball' I
only had to take two steps for the final out. I took the two steps down into a hole in an
otherwise level field. I got the ball all right, but not with my glove. Instead, I caught
the ball right between the eyes, losing track of the ball and seeing stars instead. That
evening as I looked in a mirror, staring back at me was a mythical unicorn, with two black
eyes and a horn growing from the center of its forehead.