With the easing of mandates, I spent a portion of last Saturday playing fungo golf at Baranof Field.
For those not in the baseball world and wondering what the heck is fungo golf, I will let Wikipedia explain:
“Fungo golf is a game involving two or more players in which they use fungo bats and baseballs, and their object is to hit certain objects at a field.”
It’s similar to regular golf, just less walking. Fewest hits win.
I took to the artificial turf course with my Kodiak Post 17 assistant coach Dave Smith. For those Facebook shamers, yes, we were at least 6 feet apart for the hour session.
Being on a baseball field was what I needed. Playing fungo golf was a bonus.
At this time of the year, sweet sounds of the crack of the bat and a ball hitting a glove would be filling the Kodiak air. Not this year. The ball fields are empty.
Being part of Kodiak Little League since my arrival here in 2006, that saddens me.
I only hope that at some point this summer, I will get to teach fungo golf to a new bunch of youngsters.
When I introduced the game last season, the wide-eyed players couldn’t get enough and begged to swing the fungo — a light-weight bat, usually wooden, used by coaches to hit grounders and fly balls — at every practice.
But as each day passes, it seems like it will be a baseball-less summer, at least on a local level.
It was announced on Thursday that the Little League World Series would not be played — the latest sporting event to succumb to COVID-19.
It’s still up in the air what that means for the Kodiak Little League season, as the national office said that local leagues could begin play after May 11.
Meanwhile, American Legion baseball in Alaska is at a standstill as teams patiently wait for word if the season is canceled.
Two summer college teams in the state — the Peninsula Oilers and the Fairbanks Goldpanners — have both canceled their seasons. The Alaska Baseball League will meet today and May 15 to decide the fate of its season.
As news of the World Series being canceled dominated my Facebook page, it reminded me of the great 1982 Kodiak team that came within a skipping stone of reaching Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
That team — led by future professional Clifford Anderson — lost to eventual Little League World Series champion Kirkland, Washington, 6-5, in the semifinals of the Western Regional.
That Kirkland team was later featured in the ESPN 30-for-30 documentary “Little Big Men” in 2010.
If you haven’t seen the flick, it can be purchased on Amazon Prime. Kodiak even received a mention.
I might watch it in between my rounds of fungo golf this weekend.