Tuesday, November 08, 2005



My brother just sent some great photos from our softball game (heretofore known as Buzzball)--you can see a couple above. He also sent a great description of the game--when I wrote about it yesterday, I was all swept up in the emotion of the experience; Jon captured the gorgeous mayhem of it here:

Buzzball is a rare form of 16" softball where there is only one team. People play whatever position they feel like playing in the moment and can bat at any time by saying, "I want to bat now." They can also leave the field whenever they want by simply thinking quietly to themselves, "I'm thirsty," or "I'm tired." Since there is no opposition, there is no real advantage to obtaining outs. On the other hand, if you want to tag someone out you can without too much impact on the team. This is because...

1) Since there is no opposition, your team can withstand an unlimited number or outs during the course of one gigantic inning of play.
2) Even if you tag someone out they can continue running the bases if they feel like it.

Finally, the game ends when everyone has wandered off the field. A typical score might be 29, or, if no one is paying too much attention, 6 or maybe 4. Ultimately, our plan is to form an international league, where we can compare our team's score with the score of another team in some other part of the world.

In any case, Buzzball is underway, and our founding father, Buzz, is in fine form, as all can see.
Photo key: In the top picture, my parents give each other high fives after one of them smacked the ball into the ether (they both had some excellent at-bats. My mom had a great warm-up wiggle, too!) I am at first base, ready to cower from the ball.

The bottom picture is post-Buzzball giddiness. In the top row, you will find Papa Buzz, himself (in his genuine Cubs jersey), my husband Matt (in the Bummer t-shirt I picked up at the Green Fest), and my son Arin (I wasn't planning on turning this into a fashion log, but as you can see, he is rocking the Cellular skate shop tee). In the bottom row, you will find game-organizer and -documentarian brudda Jon (not sure who he's wearing), my daughter Hannah (in a Japanese baseball jersey I picked up in Greenwich Village when I was 18; the velvet characters supposedly translate into "Big Construction"), me (note the Vote shirt!), and sister-in-all Magdalene (sporting a CODEPINK shirt under her sweatshirt.)

Not pictured in these shots, but with us and looking fabulous (not to mention playing fabulous), were my mother in law, Patricia, my sister-in-law Heather, and her kids, Maggie and Otto.

Viva la Buzzball!

4 comments:

uknaija said...

Great blog. Love |Sefi's book to bits

gayle said...

Thanks so much, uknija!

I'm so glad you're reading Sefi's book. Isn't it fabulous?!!

(For those who haven't heard me wax rhapsodic about this book before, we're talking about Everything Good Will Come by my friend, Sefi Atta. It's a gorgeous coming-of-age/coming-into-one's-own in Nigeria novel, a must read.)

Thanks again!

Lori Harrison-Smith said...

Ok...random post out of nowhere here. But I was so excited to come across your blog.

I used to work with your dad several years ago when I lived in Chicago. Nicest man! And he brought in a couple of your essays for me to read since he thought I might be interested. I enjoyed reading them.

I loved working with Buzz and I'm glad to read about Buzzball. I hope he's doing well!

gayle said...

Hi Lori!

What a cool surprise to hear from you! It's amazing timing--I also received an email from another former Buzz-co-worker today. I just called my dad to let him know about both messages, and he happened to be in the middle of writing a group letter to everyone in the Chicago office. Such synchronicity! He was delighted to hear that you had posted here.

Thanks so much for touching base!