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Baseball at Night?

MY MATERNAL grandfather Horatio N. Luce was a good fan of sports, especially baseball. After I passed the State Police test and earned my Maine driver’s license at age 15, I’d get an occasional phone call from Grampa. He always had a nice car. I had none.


“Frederick, the Wilton Loggers are playing Dixifield over at Harlow Park, Sunday. Don’t you think we oughta see that?”

I suspect he knew my answer. I’d already been given his name and probably inherited his love of sports. Grampa didn’t care to drive very far out of Strong. We went to many ball games.

I particularly remember one call. The Philadelphia Colored Giants were to play an exhibition night game at Farmington’s Hippach Field… and bringing their own lights!

Grampa and I had never seen baseball played at night nor a team of Negro pros. I doubt very few fans in our area had either.

Grampa would get tickets if I’d drive. Boy, what a standing room crowd it drew!

The portable lighting system was primitive by today’s brilliance. A spotlight mounted on the grandstand behind home plate was focused at the batters box. Strings of single bulbs on temporary posts were placed down both foul lines.

The visitors were talented pros, probably honed in the Negro Leagues. I wish I knew their names. They toyed with the local all-stars and delighted fans with their skills, stunts & comedy.

But the lighting set-up ranked a dim effort. Balls lofted to the outfield were never seen by the fans – nor some players. It was dusky enough around the plate to allow the Giants pitcher to call the entire team (except his catcher) off the field one inning while he struck out the side!

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On the Lighter Side

Baseball legend Babe Ruth, who suffered throat cancer was buried on a sweltering day in August 1948 at Mount Pleasant, N. Y.

In the pallbearers pew, Waite Hoyt sat beside Joe Dugan, two old Yankee teammates of the Babe.

“I’d give a hundred dollars for a cold beer right now,” Dugan whispered.

“So would the Babe,” Hoyt replied.

Just Wondering….

Isn’t it a bit unnerving that doctors call what they do “practice?”

If police arrest a mime, do they advise him he has the right to remain silent?

Where do forest rangers go “to get away from it all?”

Is there another word for “synonym?”

Why do they lock gas station restroom doors? Are they afraid someone might go in and clean them?

How do they get wild deer to cross the highways at those yellow roadside signs?

What should one do when you see an endangered animal eating an endangered plant?

Is it true cannibals don’t ever eat clowns because they taste funny?

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THE GAGE PIN is a hobby journal offered at the press of Fred Gage, Auburn Maine 04210. Kennerly type is set sliver by sliver and printed on an 8×12 C&P hand-fed press just to enjoy an old craft.

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