posted on December 14, 2004 17:22
With the MLB winter meetings coming to a close this week it is interesting to compare the actions of Major League Baseball with those of the HRL. Strip away from professional baseball all the glamour and high prices, ranging from the players salaries to cost of a single ticket, and what you would have is a game played by people who aren't going out there for a paycheck, but playing for the pure enjoyment of the game. At one point in time this was most likely how baseball was originally played. The feeling of playing purely for enjoyment is not dead. In this day and age you just need to know where to look for it. On playgrounds youngsters still split up into teams during recess to engage in feats of competition. Recreation departments join adults and children alike in sporting activities for exercise and enjoyment. And in the HRL where men (and women) will be meeting in wiffleball competition come this spring.
In many ways the HRL has fashioned itself in the likeness of the MLB. The HRL has a website, keeps player and team stats, the rules are similar to those of MLB, and in this past offseason we have even gotten league members together for our own winter meetings. Though these meetings for the most part are an excuse for us to get together to party and drink booze, the meetings still hold the atmosphere of duty as rule changes are discussed and voted on, players announce free agency, and team leaders try to entice players into joining or switching teams.
Team leaders (potential GM's) may not have the vast choices of free agents that MLB has, but they have an advantage as they also don't have to deal with bossy sports agents (Scott Boras) trying to drive up the prices of their players. So far the best ploy in enticing a player into "signing" with your HRL team has been the promise of free booze. In that respect it could be said that the HRL is once again similar to MLB as in the HRL booze compares well to MLB's steroids. The booze may not increase everyone's playing ability, but bringing some to the ballpark will probably make your teammates like you more.
So if you find yourself sitting around on a Monday or Thursday evening this summer you should give serious thought towards gathering up a few lawn chairs and heading down to the wiffleball parks in Hopkins or Eagan. There you will be able to check out a sport that is still played by people who don't play the game because of money or get all hopped up on a muscle stimulants. Those of us who play the game do it for the social aspect more than anything else. We still take the game seriously, but ultimately we won't let ourselves forget that it is just a game, and we are out there to have fun.
The games start next May and will go through the playoffs to the end of September. Field locations are in Eagan, at Sky Hill Park, which is located at 3590 Blue Cross Rd (intersection of Blue Cross & Blackhawk) in Eagan, and the Hopkins location is at Oakes Park, located at 901 Lake St NE, Hopkins.