The Old Baseball Field

It was a pleasant afternoon — sunny and not too hot. The clouds were numerous and billowing. All in all, a nice late August afternoon.

Looking toward the fire watchtower

For no particular reason, I decided to go for a walk over to the baseball field on the hill opposite mine. According to June Lloyd‘s article in the York Daily Record last November, Yoe had a baseball team in the 1930s, and it’s possible — probable, even — that the local team played in the same location; there’s really no other place in Yoe a baseball field could go, given that the town is wedged between two hills, and there’s not a lot of level land.

Looking west from the Yoe ballpark

I’ve walked to the ballfield a few times the past seven years, but not in a while. It’s a little out of the way. While it’s on north Maple Street and my apartment complex is off south Maple Street, the north and south Maple Streets do not connect.

It was hard to say when someone had last played on the field, though the remnants of chalk lines from some past game were visible.

While the field runs generally level along the baselines, the outfield itself rises from both left and right to center. The outfield had been recently mowed.

Along the first base line, there’s a pitching cage. Standing in center or right, the water tower behind my apartment stands against the horizon.

I wondered about the baseball teams from June Lloyd’s article. Lloyd wrote that the Eastern League was “a training ground for young players.” Had some local players, both Yoe and their opponents, stood on this same spot with dreams of playing professional baseball?

I had no reason to linger. I’d gotten in my exercise. So I walked back home.

The Yoe water tower from N. Maple Street

Climbing the hill below my apartment, I stopped and leaned against a phone pole on Broad Street to catch my breath, and I noticed something I never would have expected.

A Hawaii license plate.

A Hawaii license plate, sighted in Yoe

Two blocks from my apartment! A car from six thousand miles away.

By the time I got home I was drenched with sweat. It wasn’t hot, but damn was it humid.

Still, it was a nice day and, as we approach September and autumn, they will become rarer and rarer. Savor them now while we can.

Down in the Yoe basin

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