The Red Legs and the Dayton Diagonals

It was raining, there wasn’t a single thing on TV and there was still 3 hours till bridge.  Needless to say, my Grandpa was BORED when I arrived.  I tried any number of conversation starters that he particularly enjoys.

“The economy looks like it might start improving soon…” I began.


“Boy!  This rain just keeps coming!  How is anyone supposed to get any exercise?”


“It looks like those weeds in your yard are really starting to disappear huh?”

“Baseball.”  That’s all he had to say.  Baseball?

He continued, turning to look at me as he finished forming the question.  “Did you watch that red legs game last night?”

“No.  I didn’t see it.  Was it a good game?” I asked.

“It was a good one.  You haven’t seen baseball?” He looked pleased.

“Not much anyway.” I lied.  I was happy just to see him perk up.

“Oh well it’s a great game!”  He was thrilled as he swung his legs around off the couch and propped himself up to see me, letting his pant leg fall over his wounded leg from last week’s bicycle accident.  “See they use these…well you wouldn’t really call them sticks but that’s a bit like what they are.  Except they are rounded like this on the end.” He showed me the curve of a baseball bat with his hands.

“Then there are a handful of guys who try to hit a ball with those sticks.  Some wear blue stockings, and others red.  It depends on where they are from!  And then everyone up in the stairs wears whichever color they like better.  Gosh it is something to see!”  He was moving his hands all around as he spoke, reliving every baseball game he had seen or heard.

“So last night there was this African fella.  He was really good before.  Like Jackie Robinson but with years of experience.  He was walking people everywhere.  Walking means he lets them do whatever they want.”  His speech had an air of confidence I hadn’t heard in a few days.  I think he felt like an expert in this situation.

“So he wasn’t very good last night?” I asked, feeding the fire of enthusiasm.

“Oh no.  That wasn’t last night!  Oh come on, you know this!  I’m talking about a different game!”  He was laughing at me as though I was the one who had lost track of the story.  Silly me.

“Last night,” he continued, “They won out of no where!  They were losing, and losing, and then they won.  Have you ever seen a game like that?”

“No I don’t think I EVER have!” I smiled at him.

“Well it’s something to see.  We are going to have to go to a game.  Maybe tomorrow if it doesn’t rain.  Oh!  But you’re always at work.  Maybe not tomorrow then but soon.”  He laughed a bit and went on.  “The red legs are pretty good but we’ll see if they can beat the other socks.  Some of them are pretty good.  There are teams just everywhere now.  There is even one in Dayton but they are green.  The Dayton Diagonals.  They are pretty good but not nearly as good as the red legs.”