If there’s one thing guaranteed to bring a smile to my face, it’s kickball. Back in the early 2000’s, there was no kickball league in Portland. (Now there are two.) It started with weekly pickup games, loosely organized by the bike messengers of Portland. The bike messengers and I used to cross paths regularly – I got the kickball scoop during one of my long elevator rides, working as a front dest girl at the top of Big Pink.
We played on the baseball field at 20th and Belmont, with whatever strangers, children and homeless people we could find. Bums did quite well with us, they collected our empty beer cans at the end of each game… My brother brought his co-horts, people I generally refer to as White Trash Gangsters. Children were the best to have on your team, because it’s a playground sport, so most of them know how to play. Plus, there’s a few second delay, when a person hesitates before pegging a kid out with the ball. They’re squirrel-y!
Bases were made of PBR boxes. There were no referees, team t-shirts, or rules by the book. Those were the days…
Yet, some days were not so good as others. No one would show up. I’d call everyone in my phone, yet still find myself alone, in the bleachers for eternity, waiting. When the league was born (which ultimately split into to two leagues, over internal managing disputes), we lost most of the reliable players.
Eventually, I gave into progress and joined a team. That was a looooong time ago, and I’ve since been on MANY teams. For a few seasons, I was the captain of my own team. (Remember the Mud Muckers?) Although I was hesitant to give up the free spirited, open-to-all pickup games at 20th, the benefits of league organization outweigh the cost. I can count on people (grownups-only, no gangsters) showing up for weekly kickball games, where we get to play on REAL bases, with actual refs and I don’t have to make a single phone call.
Last weekend, we had a double header! What’s even better? A friend of mine decided to help Audreality get back in action with a BRAND NEW VIDEO CAMERA!!!
Here’s the first new episode… Spring Kickball, starring the Flowbees: