By long standing tradition(aka for the past three years), Baseball season started the first weekend after memorial day. The two teams would line up along the foul lines and salute the flag before rushing down to their dugouts and pulling on pads and mitts.
The Juspeczyk twins spat in their hands and shook before splitting off to join their individual teams.
Eddie (who had a crush on Sally) sulked as he was sent to the other team.
Nelson took up his position at the scoreboard and the teams were equal.
They played through the morning, each taking their positions with a minimum of fuss.
Walter was the pitcher, and already the high school baseball coach was eyeing him for recruitment in two years.
Daniel was the catcher, but only because Eddie had started several fights with rude comments as the other team was trying to bat.
Ursula was a shortstop as was Eddie and the game usually had to be stopped at least twice because of their fights.
Laurie covered second while Jon and Rolf were outfielders.
Adrian was the best batter on either team, though Sally wasn't too bad herself.
Byron occasionally had to be directed back to his base as he had a habit of wandering off if nothing was happening around his immediate area.
Hollis gripped the ball in one steady fist and tried to stare down Walter as he held his bat in readiness. This was the last pitch before lunch so Walter knew he had to make it count. They were down by two and Eddie and Adrian were on first and third respectively.
The ball flew and the crack as it struck the bat told Walter all he needed to know about the way he score was gonna be when they trouped back to Dan's for lunch.
He rounded third and headed for home, narrowly avoiding being tagged out by Byron at the last moment.
The chatter of his teammates and other friends as they described the ballgame to Mrs. Dreiberg made the ice cream sandwiches all the sweeter to Walter.
And if the second ballgame of the day ended in a tie, well, no one really minded too much.
In their dreams the smell of eternal summer lingers. It is a smell made of fragrant green grass, the leather of their mitts, youthful sweat and the joy of playing for no reason other than you want to, your friends want to and there is no real reason not to.