Playing Baseball with Chert Rocks

One of the things I used to enjoy the most when I was eight or nine years old was hitting rocks with a stick. I especially enjoyed this activity when I went to my Grandparent’s house.

Grandpa and Grandma lived on the end of an old dirt road and of course that road was loaded with…rocks! I couldn’t wait to get there on a summer day back in the late 50’s. I’d go down to the road right next to the barn and find me a stick about the length of a baseball bat and make a pile of rocks about the size of a quarter. It didn’t matter that the stick was skinny because I could hit those rocks. I honed my hand/eye coordination with hours of hitting rocks into Uncle Lark’s corn field for hours at a time.

“There goes another Home Run for Mickey Mantle” I would holler out in my head. I could hear ol’ Dizzy and PeeWee Reece calling it out over the center field fence at 410 feet.

Mantle was my earliest baseball idol, and still to this day is my all time favorite. There’s a signed photo of him from his Triple Crown year of 1956 hanging on the wall down the stairwell from where I’m sitting. I wish I had gotten it signed in person, but I never got to meet Mickey.

I’d pick those rocks up and toss them in the air and whack them. I’d whack them and try to knock flying birds out of the air, although I never hit one.

This morning as I was walking down by the river, I picked up a skinny stick and a rock and when I got close to the river I threw it up in the air and swung….I was exhilirated and excited down inside as I heard a loud “crack” and “Mickey Mantle hit another home run” into the depths of the Chattooga river.

I looked around to make sure nobody had seen me, and I walked on….

One Reply to “Playing Baseball with Chert Rocks”

  1. Not sure how I stumbled across this, but here I am sitting in the depths of my own childhood memories, playing a game of baseball by myself with whatever stick and rocks were handy. My version was more about my “batting average”. I’d pick out a target of some sort – usually a tree, the other side of the creek, a hedgerow, or just whatever was handy. If I got my rock to the target or beyond, it was a hit! If I whiffed or came up short of the target, it was not a hit. Each swing was it’s own individual “at bat”, and I kept a running tally of my current batting average in my head. I ended up being pretty good at short division in the 3rd grade.


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