Up to Bat

Up to bat

“Hey, batter batter swing, batter!” It is early evening, and the spring sun is beginning to lower, dust kicked up from cleats filters through the sun’s rays. Steel bleachers layered with blankets are filled with parents cheering kids on. Advice is shouted out on choking up on the bat and how to hold an old worn to perfection leather glove. There is a slight chill in the air, and the dugouts are clamoring with girls chatting a mile a minute in anticipation of the second game of the season. Brightly colored T-shirts distinguish one team from the other. America’s favorite pastime is finally here, you feel it, see it, and smell it! It is Baseball.

Baseball season is in full swing here in Montpelier and throughout Bear Lake County. It is a tip-off that warm summer days are not far behind. Every year Bear Lakes youth and adult tournaments are hosted by the Montpelier Parks And Recreation Department and sponsors. The tournaments include fastpitch and slowpitch games. Families look forward to this time of year and spending time at the ballpark. It’s an important part of summer in our sleepy town.

The 20th Annual Bear Lake Softball Tournament is scheduled for June 13-15, 2019. The 11th Annual Bear Lake Slugfest is planned for June 27-29, 2019. Check out Bear Lake Tournaments Facebook page for more information and updates on game sates. To contact parks and recreation, send an email to — montpelierparksandrecreationgmail.com The Parks and Recreation Department does a great job during this busy and demanding time of year. Our hats go off to them in all that they do to bring baseball to us.

So when did all of this really start? On June 19th, 1846 the first officially recorded baseball game was played. It was organized under Alexander Joy Cartwright’s rules. The game was played on Hoboken’s Elysian Fields. The New York Baseball Club beat The Knickerbockers 23-1. Baseball has been around for over 173 years. This favorite American pastime is relatively played the same today as it was in the very beginning, the pitcher throws the ball, the batter hits the ball and the fielder catches the ball. However, the game has changed in regards to technology, equipment, and of course finances. Players today make a lot more money than they used to. Today baseball is a full-time career for players. Back in the beginning players supplemented their income by selling cars, working retail and even selling Christmas trees in the offseason.

So what is it about baseball that makes us feel nostalgic? Is it the popcorn popping, burgers grilling or the cracking of peanuts that fill the air? Is it the fresh cut grass, the white chalk lines painted on the dirt, the uniforms? Is it remembering the greats like Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Jackie Robinson, Mickey Mantle or Lou Gehrig, to name a few? Maybe it is all of that. Perhaps it takes us back to a simpler time when we played baseball as a kid just for fun. Or is it that it makes us feel young again and helps us forget our cares? Whatever the reason we can feel good knowing that it’s that time again, time for the best game in the world.