Reflections on the 2018 Seniors v. Faculty Softball Showdown
According to the Urban Dictionary, a “chamber of commerce day” is a day with gorgeous weather when a region would want tourists to visit, such that it might make companies feel that they should relocate to the area. The on-line picture next to this definition is a photograph taken at about noontime today at the Fore River Fields. With a high blue sky, puffs of white clouds, and surrounded by that green that only trees in May and early June can create, the FRF looked every inch the kind of place that any self-respecting ‘Fleter would want to find themselves twelve hours after the end of prom. This was especially true with the prospect of seeing the “‘Flete (not to be confused with “fleet”) Flyer Faculty” softball juggernaut perform its annual wizardry – otherwise known as “The Fountain of Youth Fling” – in a one-game series against the class of 2018.
Turns out that the class of 2018 makes up the back-bone of the Varsity baseball and tennis teams, and batting balls all over the place is right in their collective wheelhouse. Well…in the collective wheelhouse of the team of Seniors that actually batted, as a number of their teammates assumed other positions around the diamond and eschewed the offensive part of the game. In a creative piece of positioning, Senior Captain Ava Farrar conspired to convince four or five of her light-hitting teammates to form a tight-knit circle well down the right field line (and just stay there) where their prone presence was so intimidating that the faculty were compelled to pull the ball into a phalanx of defenders led by Colin LeBihan’s wizardry at shortstop. Still more Seniors quickly recognized that the faculty team was not solely a danger to themselves, and took positions along the edge of the lacrosse field, well out of range, claiming to be “stretching out” for future insertion into the game…an insertion that would not occur. At least their positioning was within sight of the field, unlike certain other members of the Senior class and faculty *ahem*.
Faculty Honorary Captain and star pitcher Peter Hamblin spent hours poring over his batting-order/offensive strategy, and then asked the faculty present, at least those not currently on the “Physically Unable to Perform” list, to line up and then quickly numbered them 1-10 in the order in which they were standing. With star center-fielders David Neilan and Ross Burdick both unable to raise their arms from their sides, the intrepid team mustered on with “youngsters” Blake Keogh and Ben Lewis, and ageless David Vaughan left to “cover a lot of ground.” The “experienced” faculty employed a number of crafty tricks in the game, including Right-Center Fielder Randy Anderson allowing a ball to fly over his head so that he could run back and get it, then hitting perfectly-positioned cut-off man Lowell Libby in stride with is throw. Libby turned and fired a strike to catcher Neil Rice, nailing Nick Hagler, who was trying to turn the apparent positioning error into a “homerun.” Veteran (but still young!) second-sacker Wendy Curtis contrived to take a Keogh throw off the jawbone, earning herself a place on the bench (with a frozen water bottle on her face, although star chef, Mimi Olins, did offer her a frozen burger instead), and thereby forcing questionable (.500 fielding percentage) left-fielder and char-broil king Tom Campbell into an infield position where he would do less damage.
Oh, you may be wondering about the game itself. According to official scorer Margaret Austin, in their final “ups,” the faculty managed to deliver four runs (led by Talia Olins ’25, who took advantage of a slow-developing defensive play to scamper around the bases) in the bottom of the whatevereth inning, and forge a 10-10 tie, at which point Hamblin used his seniority and wisdom to declare the game as “final.”
It should be noted that the ambulance, “hidden” behind the fieldhouse by Anne Hagstrom, was never called (for the fourth year in a row!); that the fire department was not called to deal with Campbell’s grease fire from the first round of burgers (which he tried to cook simultaneously with laying out the bases for the field), although maybe it should have been; and that Geoff Wagg successfully manned his position in Right Field without catching a ball or stepping on any of the sun-bathing Seniors in the right-field corner.
And if you missed it…well…there is always next year. Unless you are a Senior, of course.