Summertime means softball at ICIO. Fresh cut grass and clear blue skies overhead, individuals can step up to plate to live out lifelong dream of being a ball player, even if just for a moment.  Ten against ten for seven innings, most runs wins. It is a simple game in essence, but the intricacies of team dynamics and nuances of strategy make it exciting for players and spectators alike.  Whether it is yard ball or the major leagues, excitement builds over time with players practicing every moment they get. Although it is all in good fun, this is serious business.  The new rec yard schedule allows those trying to gain an edge a little extra practice time as league play is already underway.  The season, scheduled to end with a tournament from July 4 - 7, will crown a team champion of the 2019 spring season.

On ICIO’s field of dreams, the team with the most grit and determination will come out on top. Men who can chase down deep fly balls, outrun infield hits, or somehow overcome a 3-run deficit in the bottom of the seventh, will persevere.  The huge hits or amazing catches leave spectators breathless every time.  Some plays are so close they need a replay, but with honor and sportsmanship, the outcomes are accepted with grace and a smile, because, after all, it is just a game.

It is that moment where players enjoy some bliss, living out their boyhood dreams of becoming the ballplayer they always wanted to be, finding spirituality at the bottom of the inning with two outs and bases loaded.  It’s a place where the fence slowly fades away, and the only thing that matters in that moment is the wind up, the pitch, the swing, and a crack from the bat.  For that brief second, freedom reigns.

The season is also to include a staff game against a handpicked team of inmates who portray great sportsmanship, outstanding attitudes, and have been DOR-for the last 6 months. The recreation coordinator, C/O Roup, says, “The game should be [mid summer] depending on everything going according to plan, and if the weather permits.” The game is scheduled for some time after lunch, so look for upcoming flyers posted on the units for details about the game time.

For the upcoming efforts and expenditure, all the “boys of summer” will be winners. Thank the hard-working Rec staff that make this field of dreams possible for all to enjoy.

Play ball!

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