DRINKING IN STATE LEGION TRADITION.Byline: CHRIS BRANAM Local
From the stories that the old veterans tell, you would think this Northern California Northern California, sometimes referred to as NorCal, is the northern portion of the U.S. state of California. The region contains the San Francisco Bay Area, the state capital, Sacramento; as well as the substantial natural beauty of the redwood forests, the northern town was home to a casino, not the state's American Legion baseball American Legion Baseball is a variety of amateur baseball played by teenage boys in 45 states in the USA. Purpose
According to the American Legion, the purpose of American Legion Baseball is to give young men "an opportunity to develop their skills, personal fitness, playoffs.
Drinking, smoking, gambling . . . and baseball. There was plenty of action on the field but even more in the stands.
Although the men and women who live in the nearby Veterans Home of California don't come out as much as they used to, there are still some who look forward to every pitch.
Richard Paulson, 78, has lived in the home for the past six months. When he moved here, he didn't know of the baseball tournament.
``I thought it was superb,'' he said from his patio chair behind home plate between games on Sunday morning Sunday Morning may refer to:
It was just past 11 a.m., and Paulson had finished a beer. Visitors to Borman Field - home to the state playoffs since 1961 - must get accustomed to the veterans who drink their first brew at 10 a.m. and chain-smoke cigarettes and cigars.
The smoking and drinking this weekend are tame compared to what happened in the past.
``They used to serve the beer in cans,'' said Bea McKinstry, who has come to the state tournament every year since 1962 with her husband Ray. ``After the games, they had to clean the stands with shovels. I had never seen so many beer cans in my life.
``They would drink until they couldn't walk. The ones in the wheelchairs were lucky.''
Smoking and drinking haven't been the only vices to grace the state tournament. Gambling used to be huge.
``Oh, there used was big money changed here,'' said George Sandborn, who has attended the state playoffs since 1965. ``You talk about betting - yes, sir.''
Ray McKinstry remembered one fellow who took bets all tournament.
``That was all he did, take bets,'' he said.
McKinstry, an 87-year-old veteran of World War II, is the official scorer In the game of baseball, the official scorer is a person appointed by the league to record the events on the field and to send this official record of the game back to the league offices. . He coached Legion baseball for a quarter-century and led Long Beach to a national championship in 1963.
He remembers the old days when Borman Field didn't have the ivy-covered chain link fence in Verb 1. fence in - enclose with a fence; "we fenced in our yard"
inclose, shut in, close in, enclose - surround completely; "Darkness enclosed him"; "They closed in the porch with a fence"
2. center field. Back then a vineyard stood beyond the outfield.
``We told our outfielders that if a ball went into the grapevines, don't run after it,'' he said, ``because you'll run into a rattlesnake rattlesnake, poisonous New World snake of the pit viper family, distinguished by a rattle at the end of the tail. The head is triangular, being widened at the base. The rattle is a series of dried, hollow segments of skin, which, when shaken, make a whirring sound. .''
Through the years, volunteer legionnaires Legionnaires may refer to:
Like so many of the playoff organizers, Julio Yniguez, co-chairman of Area 6, has faithfully made the annual trip to Borman Field. He's done it since 1966.
Harold Hall, who represents Area 5, has made it every year since 1971. These volunteers show the same dedication to American Legion baseball as the disabled veterans - even the ones who arrived on motorized mo·tor·ize
tr.v. mo·tor·ized, mo·tor·iz·ing, mo·tor·iz·es
1. To equip with a motor.
2. To supply with motor-driven vehicles.
3. To provide with automobiles. carts - who rise to their feet when the national anthem is played.
Sure, some of the Borman Field traditions are corny corn·y
adj. corn·i·er, corn·i·est
Trite, dated, melodramatic, or mawkishly sentimental.
[From corn1. . Before each game, all the players are told to recite every word of the ``Code of Sportsmanship.''
Each player who hits a home run is rewarded with two liters of soda and a case of sweet potatoes.
But it is baseball with no mascot races. The crowd has never performed the ``YMCA'' at Borman Field.
``There's no better place in the world,'' Richard Paulson said. ``You can't ask for anything more.''