Charles M. Hammett – Baseball Memories

Baseball was a game I enjoyed as a spectator or playing pickup games. During the summer before my senior year of High School, in 1951, I was asked to play baseball with the Glendale Team. I played in the outfield. The team would practice during the week on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. The practice sessions were at the Glendale Ball Field located above Glendale.

The team furnished uniforms. Each player purchased his spikes and glove. Some players dressed at home and others at the gym. The gym was located in the Flat near the Company Store. The Ball Field was a sandy red type with the outfield of grass and weeds. The field was in fair shape. An employee of the mill would use a heavy truck that belonged to the mill with an attachment covered with old burlap sacks to drag over the sand in the field. He would also mark the lines and set the bases on the field. There was a mowing attachment which could be used with the truck to take care of the grass and weeds when he had the time. There were some times that the outfielders had to stand in high grass.

There was a wooden fence around the entire field. There were wooden dugouts and a wooden grandstand. All of the games were played on Wednesday and Saturday afternoon. Most of the games started about four O’clock. The crowds were not too large. The people were finding other things to take up their time. Radio and TV were carrying more games and other entertaining programs.

In years past, Glendale had a black team and a second team, like a junior varsity. However, in 1951, we did not have either of these.

I was the bat boy for Glendale during the years 1943 and 1944. We had local players and some men from Camp Croft. Most of the young men from Glendale were in the Military Service. My baseball playing for the Glendale Team lasted for one game. The games and practice took up too much time. I worked for the Company Store. My job was at the Mill Canteen at night. In the afternoon, I filled up the Coke machines and picked up the empty bottles. Then at night, I would open the Mill Canteen from 8:30 PM until 11:30 PM.

I decided I needed the money. I enjoyed the baseball and the time with the other players. Only so much can be done in 24 hours. With this in mind, I realized I could only do one or the other. So, I decided to keep my job.

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