Monday evening, as the country waited with bated breath for the first of three presidential debates, local baseball players were putting on their cleats and stretching for a long overdue baseball season that would begin on the Puck O’Neal Field in the Big Rock Stadium. Considering the chaos of the following evening’s debate, the Monday night game was a needed distraction from the stress created by a worldwide pandemic and a highly polarized presidential campaign.
News-Times sports reporter J.J. Smith’s story aptly began, “Baseball was played in Big Rock Stadium on Monday, and for one night, all seemed right with the world.”
Acknowledging the fact that this past Tuesday’s debate between President Trump and his major opponent former Vice President Joe Biden was a disaster, there is little reason to expect the next two will have any impact on the voters. The conclusion of each debate will only confirm the opinions of each candidate’s supporters and do nothing to enhance or promote legitimate dialogue among the voters. So we would all benefit by directing our attention to something more enjoyable – baseball.
Buddy Bengel, franchise owner of the wooden bat baseball team home ported in Morehead City, the Marlins, decided that despite the loss of the summer baseball season because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the community and high school players would benefit from fall baseball.
Mr. Bengel along with the Town of Morehead City and the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament have partnered to put on a six-week Big Rock Fall League season for players at East Carteret, West Carteret, Croatan, Havelock, Swansboro and Gramercy Christian during the coronavirus pandemic.
There are five teams, and games will be played at 5:45 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday nights. The Marlin Blue team opened the first doubleheader of the Big Rock Fall League season with a 4-3 win over the Red team, followed by the Black team earning a 14-4 victory over the Royal team.
Considering the stress resulting from both world and national events, the opportunity to enjoy something as simple as baseball is much appreciated and brings to mind American poet Sharon Old’s quip that “Baseball is reassuring. It makes me feel as if the world is not going to blow up.”
We agree and look forward over the next month to enjoying the sound of bats hitting balls and watching as our youngsters field flies and grounders. It’s time to ‘Play Ball.'