Here’s What Happens When Teen-Aged Girls Support Your Team
By Mark S. McDonald
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – Something resembling a baseball game was played here last night in the Little League 13-and-under Southwest Regional playoffs. At stake was a trip to California for the Intermediate World Series. Or so the story begins.
What started as a contest between Louisiana state champ from Jackson Parish and Texas West (Midland) veered into something different. Imagine a hybrid cross between a fiesta and a soccer match. Now sprinkle this combustible recipe with fuel from a most unlikely source — townies.
More specifically, it was a group of vibrant girls, aged 16-18, out together, already having fun and looking for more. You Mothers and school teachers will recognize the makings for mischief.
For reasons of their own, these teenagers – Grand Junction softball players, it turns out – “adopted” the Midland team. Which means they sat together chanting, singing and screeching through perfect teeth only recently straightened by braces. They know the game, so they egged each other on with baseball clichés.
“It’s all you, kid. Hammer time!”
“Bring the heat!”
“Throw him a chair!” (As in strike the guy out, send him back to a sitting posture on the bench.)
“Half-price hot dogs?” (response to concession stand announcement) “Oh, I am so there!”
Waving their arms, standing in unison and dancing between innings, the girls directed nothing derogatory toward our neighbors from Jackson Parish, but a neutral site became anything but.
As each batter strode to the plate, chirping would erupt from the Midland bleachers, accompanied by congratulatory high-fives for especially pithy remarks. Say this for western Colorado girls – they have healthy vocal cords.
Most humorous was when Anglo chicks tried their clumsy Spanish for the benefit of our Hispanic kids.
“Buena ojo.” (That would be “good eye,” badly butchered.)
Answer: Teen-aged girls, in a covey, having way too much fun.
As Midland fans, we were stunned by this unsolicited wave of energy and support, but also amused and grateful to be the beneficiaries. Meanwhile, our pubescent kids were delighted to get attention from, ahem, young women.
“This batter’s name is Riggs? … What a great name! …(pause)
“Where’s his momma? I want to congratulate her for a cool name.”
So why choose Midland, and not Louisiana?
Okay, but why Midland College?
“BBs. Baseball butts. Great baseball butts. “
Oh. I see.
“You bet. We’re for any Midland team, all the way.”
Girls gone bad? Not quite … but potential was there.
Meaning no disrespect, Midland hitters took batting practice on Louisiana pitchers – 19 hits in four innings – to the exaggerated delight of this crackling caldron of estrogen, creating a carnival atmosphere. At least for one side of the ballpark.
Surely, Louisiana coaches and parents were something less than amused. The scoreboard was rough enough on their eyes, but to have their ears abused, too?
I can’t say the energy boost from townies led to a 21-0 beat-down (not a typo), but we invited the girls back for the upcoming if-necessary game. We suggested they each bring a friend.
A member of the Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, the author escaped starvation in Texas newsrooms while coaching 22 summers of youth baseball. None of his teams received this kind of reception. His next book, “They Gave Us Baseball: Now Look What We’ve Done” is due for release in early 2015.