Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The running and cheering of the Flannel Athletic Supporters

Troy Malinowski's report...

We had a nice turn out for the 1717th running of the LPTR Wednesday Night Black Loop Classic. Race times were slower than previous weeks due to the Double D Heatfest 2011 events and the Angela’s “Let’s run 5 Black loop Night run during the week”. 

Afterwards, the group mingled and enjoyed Robert’s Western States adventure. Of course, Mary spoke up to mention her 2001 experiences at Western ….along with 2002 races, 2004 events and the time she got a ride from her Grand Rapids, MI kindergarten classmate in Iowa. Also heard were talks of this weekend’s Dances with Dirt at Devil’s Lake. Good luck to these team members.

We then honored our newest LPTR member, Ashley Kumlien. During her Sticker acceptance speech, she reminded us of her GREAT accomplishment of running across the USA to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a disease her mother, Jill is stricken with. Ashley is in the planning stage of a 2013 “MS Run the US” RELAY and is looking for interested volunteers and runners.

After this, the group started separating as we planned to attend Joel Lammers softball game in Greendale. Joel had a late game (8:30 pm) this evening, which allowed us to run and also be at a game. Something Joel can’t accomplish. So, a group of seven Flannel athletic supporters ascended onto the Greendale Park.  Walking in front are Angela, her sister Julie and their adopted sister Brad wearing matching shirts with cut-off sleeves. Brad using the sleeves as leggings.

As we walked towards the stands, the Tennis court activity stopped and a pleasant comment was shouted (we won’t repeat at this time). This alerted the right outfielder currently playing to just stand and watch. He stared us down for a good minute or two. And at about this time, Joel made eye contact with us, we chuckled and Joel later stated he thought it was a bunch of “WILD Teenagers”

So, we took our seats and awaited the game, watching Joel and his team “loosened up”. THIRTY SIX MINUTES later, the game got started at 9:06 …… a fact that many of us could of done another Black Loop with Brad and Julie able to do Blue loop in that time.

“PLAY BALL!!” The game starts and out comes Brett, the pitcher for Joel’s team. And the game begins. Quick three up and three strike outs. The ball was being thrown with great speed. Something many in the group have never seen before. Between the inning, Joel instructed his team on the roster positions and came over for a drink of water, in passing he stated …. “This is why I don’t pitch any longer …….. We use to win in the early 2000’s before I started pitching”, but Brett was an amazing walk-on at the start of the season.

Now visualize the game …… THE SANDLOT ….a bunch of over-weight middle aged men thinking they know fast pitch softball. Let’s just say, Joel was the small guy on the team, total opposite of LPTR.  And sitting behind the backstop is HERCULES, the Bull Mastiff. Over the course of the game, he collected eight softballs and two tennis balls as when the balls went over the fence, no one but him was going to get it.

Joel’s team comes up to bat and gets a few hits, Joel gets up to bat and walks. His team scored a few runs until the third out and sides are changed.

Joel again takes left outfield. As the first batter is up, Angela says “Joel’s waving at us” in which we see Joel out there chasing and trying to catch fireflies like a seven year old girl. He did just happen to trip over a ball that got pass the shortstop and underhanded it to second in an unsuccessful attempt for an out.

Another quick top of the inning was seen. After three batters, Joel was up to bat. He hits many foul balls into the backstop and finally connects for another fielder’s choice. As he is running to first with all his might, he stumbles and just barely makes first safely. Kevin pipes up and says …”Joel’s one of our better runners, looking at him, we must not look good”.

After three innings, Joel’s team won by the eight run rule and the game was over.

We said our goodbyes and started our walk to the parking lot. And Hercules was parking something else in Center Field.

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