Friday, 20 January 2012

Step Up To The Plate.

You may have heard the expression, or if you are into fancy words, the idiom, 'step up to the plate'.   It basically means to take on a challenge or a responsibility.  To initiate action.
It is also is a literal reference when a baseball player steps up to home plate to take a turn at batting against a pitcher.  You might be familiar with the game of baseball.  If you live in Britain, you may consider baseball a form of glorified rounders or cricket in an alternate reality. 
I've had a varied life and when I was a teenager living in Vancouver, I used to go to minor league baseball games at Capilano Stadium.  My buddies and I would get there early and talk to the players as they warmed up for the game.  We had many a fun conversation with the players.  I remember this one dude who had noted how small the crowds were.  In his finest southern drawl, he said, "What y'all been doin' scarin' all them folks away?"   Another player asked us, "Hey guys, where do all the chicks hang out?"  Of course, being fifteen and being 'men of action', we told him about all the hot spots where you could like pick up 'chicks'.  He told us he would check out those places after the game in his "pick up truck."  
And the player who wanted to know where to find the ladies started bragging about how great a game he was going to have.  And a great game he had.  That was the good news.  The bad news was that he played for the opposing team named the Spokane Indians.  And the name of that player?   Bobby Valentine, who is now the manager of the Boston Red Sox. 

Ah yes, baseball.  Which has terminology such as sacrifice fly, slugging percentage, single, double, triple, home run, stolen base, caught  stealing, seventh inning stretch, strikeouts, base on balls, foul balls and sliding into home base.  I remember one day when a bunch of us dudes were thinking about having a game of naked baseball.  Then we thought about sliding into home base and decided foul balls wasn't such a good idea.  
The team, way back then in the year 1969, were named the Vancouver Mounties.  The photo is a Vancouver Mounties baseball cap.   We used to look at the cap and end up in hysterical laughter.  Or to use a baseball metaphor, 'looks like they have gotten past first base and scored a home run...'


  1. I think I could do with "stepping up to the plate" a little less often.

  2. Hi Gary,
    I see what you mean about the badge, if you look at it in a certain way, it does look a bit rude (or is it just my mind?)
    Never really got my head around baseball to be honest, it is just glorified rounders, isn`t it? And as for having a World Series with only one country taking part, I ask you!?
    Follow me at HEDGELAND TALES

  3. OMG Gary! Until you mentioned it, I didn't look at the cap that way. Now I'll never see it differently. Bahahahaha!!! How cool. Funny I remember Cap Stadium but I don't remember going to any games there. Hmmmm. Maybe it's too long ago. I loved Vancouver for so many reasons over the years and it has made me sad to see it change so much but I guess that's progress. Glad I don't live there now. Glad you step up to the plate every day or your son would be in a much different place. Best to you, Hon!

  4. Hi Delores,
    Thank you for the comment and have a nice relaxed weekend...

  5. Hi John,
    The badge on the cap, a bit rude or maybe it's all in the mind :)
    Glorified rounders or cricket from another dimension...
    Unless Toronto is now part of the States, teams competing for the 'World Series' involves two countries. Originally, baseball had lofty plans to be a truly world sport.
    Cheers John and have a good weekend :)

  6. Hi Heather,
    Heather? I have no idea what you're talking about! lol.
    I used to go to Capilano Stadium, now Nat Bailey Stadium, for free. Got free tickets from the Vancouver Sun for being such an awesome paper boy. And no, I don't mean I was made out of paper :)
    Vancouver has changed so much and sometimes I wonder if that much 'progress' is really worthwhile. Oh well, you now live in 'Hope'.
    And we both know all about 'stepping up to the plate' :) Thank you, my dear friend. Hopefully talk to you over the weekend.
    Cheers me dear,

  7. Naked baseball? NOW you're talking...!!

    :-) Take care

  8. Hi Old Kitty,
    I would be talking in a high-pitched voice if I played naked baseball and slid into home base!
    Take care and have an awesome weekend.
    Good grief, I'm typing to a cat :)

  9. Great photo, I had to do a double take. :)

  10. Sounds even more complicated than cricket. Watched the game in Atlanta a couple of times but would need to watch it more often in order to get the hang of it. :0)

  11. Baseball! Love it! We were a family of Dodgers fans until they turnedcoat and then we adopted the Yankees. I now follow the Cyclones, a minor league team from my old hometown. Pro baseball doesn't have the heart it used to, but I stll love the game. Another thing to look forward to- Spring is coming and with it, baseball! (and naked baseball... nasty groundballs! eek!)

  12. Hi Y'all,

    Being a dog I don't quite understand the reference about the baseball cap. My Humans, when I asked them about it, looked and laughed themselves silly. Sometimes I find you humans totally baffling.

    I'm sure the apple of my eye, Penny the Jack Russel Terrier and modest internet star, is as baffled as I am.

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  13. Hello Gary:
    Well, it may surprise you to know that we have absolutely no knowledge of baseball at all. However,your most detailed post has helped move along our understanding, especially if we just imagine it as a game of rounders with a bit more sliding around!!

    We are still unsure, however, what plates have to do with it all and, try as we might, we cannot see anything rude about the baseball cap. Do we need to get out more?!!!

    Hoping that you have a lovely weekend!!

  14. Hey Jenny,
    Ah yes, the first photo of a 'step up to the plate'. No? Oh, I get :)
    Thanks Jenny and have a lovely weekend.

  15. Hi Carole,
    Oh cricket. I was on the cricket team at the high school I went to in Vancouver. Hadn't got a clue what I was doing :)
    Ah yes, the Atlanta Braves. Baseball, once you get used to it, is much simpler to understand than cricket. Then again, nuclear physics is easier to understand than cricket! :)
    Have a wonderful weekend, Carole.
    Hugs your way, Gary :)

  16. Hey Austan,
    Oh yes, the Dodgers moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. So you having mentioned the Yankees, I guess I'm not allowed to mention the Mets :)
    There's still something fascinating about the minor leagues and I have fond memories of those games. And what fun when the Major League team came to town. In Britain, they have no real concept of 'farm teams'.
    And yes, the 'boys of summer', may well bring the joys of summer. Spring training will soon be here. The weather will improve and our spirits will be rejuvenated.
    Naked baseball. Sliding into home plate could well be painful. Heck, being picked off at home plate, might be just as painful :)
    Have a wonderful and peaceful weekend, Laura.
    In kindness and some Cracker Jack, your way, Gary :)

  17. Greetings Hawk,
    Hi, yes it's your pal, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet star! My human asked me if I would reply to your comment.
    Indeed, most baffling, my human, Gary, pointed at the baseball cap and he had this ridiculous smirk on his face. Only humans seem to be able to smirk. Hawk, I have no idea what your humans or my human, found so funny.
    Anyway, must go now and chase my tail. Arf! Arf!
    Pawsitive wishes and doggy kisses, your way, y'all, Penny xx

  18. Hello Jane and Lance,
    Most grateful for your comment. I just don't know how you find the time to comment on my very unknown blog and comment back to the zillion comments you get on your site. I reckon you really must have an office full of typists, just to keep up with it all. I, once again, subscribed to follow up comments on your lovely site. I thought my email system was going to blow up. Of course, shy and humble me, is not in the slightest, jealous or anything. As I go and sob uncontrollably in a darkened room..
    Now then, I'm delighted that my somewhat detailed post has brought you further awareness of baseball. Indeed, Jane and Lance, think rounders, just with more raz ma taz and weird terminology. Did you know that one can bunt in baseball?Then again, do you really want to know?
    Of course, around the diamond there are three bases and home base is also known as 'home plate'. Thus, there are four locations that one can run too. I bet that's cleared up any confusion :)
    And finally, yes finally, Jean and Lance, I didn't realise there was a possible rude connotation with the logo on the baseball cap. I guess, along with you, I may well have to get out more.
    May you, my good friends, have a most peaceful, positive weekend.
    In kindness and a Mounties baseball cap, your way, Gary

  19. "If you live in Britain, you may consider baseball a form of glorified rounders or cricket in an alternate reality." And, of course, we over here may think the converse is true!

  20. Hi Susan,
    And having lived in North America and Britain, I would say that cricket confuses the heck out of me. I mean, can you imagine your team losing because it's raining? Cricket, oh my goodness. And rounders is bewildering to me. And then there's basketball, which is 'glorified netball' :)
    Have a good weekend, Susan.
    In kindness and a 'sticky wicket', your way, Gary

  21. Dear Gary,
    Ah, Baseball. I had a little encounter with it once when I heard about the "world series". Of course, only North American teams get to play in the "world series", which kind of makes me wonder why it's called the "world series". And, of course, as you say, baseball is only a glorified version of "rounders", a game mostly played here by teenage girls! Well, I did wonder why you were so interested, Gary.
    With Very Best Wishes, and many baseball analogies, your way,

  22. Dear David,
    Ah yes, the "World Series". There has been much debate as to why it is called that. Originally, the baseball promoters in the USA had lofty ambitions of it becoming a worldwide sport where various nations would compete for the coveted prize.
    Of course, our friends in the States have a tendency to use the term 'world champions' in a variety of sports. American Football and the Super Bowl champs are considered as 'world champs'. Which is odd, because they have never played against the Canadian champs, the Grey Cup, to decide who are champs, at least of North America!
    Yes, rounders seems like a fun game to watch. Thanks for the tip, David.
    With very best wishes and a Vancouver Mounties baseball cap, for you to look at, your way, Gary

  23. Crackerjacks! I loved Crackerjacks, at the ball game or not! Aw, the Mets are okay. I kinda feel sorry for them. They try.
    We could all take a lesson from the Mets...
    With fond good wishes,

  24. Baseball is such a snooze...the fun parts are talking with the players, and watching people during the game. That's my opinion, and I stick with it! However, I have to say, you've got the right idea on the seriousness of the game with your hat. Love it!

  25. so base ball is where it is at if you are to set up your plate it go nothing to do with dinner and when you have a home run it not that five minutes dash home cause you are busting for a pee...and I have to stay you cheered up avery dreary sunday afternoon for me with the thought of naked baseball ...what a thought ...thanks you for the mental picture

  26. "Take me out to the ball game,
    Take me out with the crowd.
    Buy me some peanuts and cracker jack, I don't care if I never get back,
    Let me root, root, root for the home team,
    If they don't win it's a shame.
    For it's one, two, three strikes, you're out,
    At the old ball game."

    Ah yes, Laura, I used to enjoy Cracker Jacks :) I also remember when the amazing Mets were amazing :)
    In kindness and admiration, your way, Gary

  27. Hey Kim,
    Baseball, a cure for insomnia? :)
    Gotta' agree. The best part was talking to the players before the game and then watching some dude in the stands, picking his nose with his baseball glove. This would be the same baseball glove he reckons he will catch a foul ball with :)
    Oh that baseball cap...evidently the logo can look like something to do with um....
    Take care, rest and stay warm.

  28. Hey kerrie,
    Yes, strangely enough, you go to the 'plate' and take a wild swing at the balls that fly over the plate. Very odd.
    I'm delighted if I helped cheer up your very dreary Sunday afternoon :)
    And now I must go and practice my naked baseball. Although, I most certainly wont be practising how to slide into home base. Not that keen on having a high-pitched voice. Then again, could always be in a Bee Gees tribute band...
    Look after yourself, Kerry. Hope you have a peaceful, positive week.

  29. Hi Gary, Glad to see you are doing well. This is a funny post. It looks like some graphic designer slipped one past an unsuspecting team owner. You have just made "stepping up to the plate" a visual double entendre. My best.

  30. Gary, I had no idea. I guess back in 1969 I was thinking about other stuff than baseball; shame on me. Thanks for the nostalgia. This is something I share with the menfolk. They're sure to be impressed.

  31. I love and always have loved baseball. It's so much better in person than on tv. I met a bunch of players in the minor league when I was young (and beautiful) invited to a couple post game parties. But my mum said NO WAY! Probably a good call. LOL!

    Love the photo and the lead in to your story...

  32. Hahaha yeah that is one unfortunate logo.

    Awesome memory, though. :-)

  33. Hi Gary.
    I'm glad that photo wasn't implying that you'd be 'dancing for your next meal'. Then again if it was a happy dance, it'd be a 'happy meal'... shout it out: "Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, pickles, on a sesame bun"... ah.
    I hate baseball, softball, fast pitch, slow pitch, pee-wees... but I do have a cricket named 'Rufus'.
    And yes, I like the pattern on your plates. (Hope I haven't forgotten anything.) Okay, I'm out!!
    You've such an imagination...

    Thanks Henry and I hope all is well with you.
    I'm pleased you thought this was a funny post. You got it. A visual double entendre. I now wonder what a 'relief' pitcher actually does....
    In kindness, Gary

  35. Hi Joylene,
    Ah yes, the summer of '69' and we shall leave at that...Thought you would of been thinking about the 'boys of summer', Joylene :)
    I'm sure your menfolk would just love a genuine 1969 Vancouver Mounties and now 'Mountie' has a different connotation, baseball cap!
    Take care, eh...

  36. Hi Sharon,
    Come on now. You're still young and beautiful! I reckon you could now go to a party with a bunch of major leaguers :) We can keep it a secret...
    Thanks Sharon and I'm glad you liked the photo and the lead into the story. Now, I wonder which photo she meant? lol
    Take care, Sharon.
    Kind wishes, Gary :)

  37. Hi Misha,
    Or maybe, one fortunate logo :)
    Yes, I have an awesome memory about baseball, also. lol

  38. Hi Dixie,
    Ah yes, dancing to a 'happy meal'. I've never recovered from the day I got an extra toy in my happy meal. Yes indeed, two Ham Burglars...and no, I'm not going to imply something rude as to what the special sauce might be :)
    Oh, but what about the 'pee wee folks' league? They played a magical game of baseball in my garden...I had a cricket named Jiminy..
    And the pattern on the plate is great. And yep, your comment um...covered all the bases..
    Take care, Dixie.
    In kindness and and assortment of various balls, your way, Gary :)

  39. I didn't know Vancouver had a baseball team.

  40. Hey Nancy,
    And of course I'm referring to Vancouver, British Columbia and not, Vancouver, Washington :)
    Yes, the Vancouver Mounties were a triple AAA team and were the farm club of the Montreal Expos and the Seattle Pilots. Remember them?
    Thanks Nancy.
    Gary :)

  41. Hi Gary .. I wonder where they get all the plates from ... I keep throwing them over Beachy Head - but another one pops up!!

    Simply cannot get my head round Baseball .. but then I've never watched a full game - and please don't ask .. no thank you, I'd rather not. I loved rounders though as a young kid .. great fun ..

    Cheers Hilary

  42. Hi Hilary,
    You would think they would get all the plates from Stoke aka the Potteries....
    Baseball can seem most confusing. Then again, compared to cricket, baseball is about the easiest game to understand, ever :)
    Of course, baseball is indeed, 'glorified rounders'!
    Cheers Hilary.
    Kind wishes, your way, Gary


I do try to comment back to each commenter individually. However, I might have to shorten my replies or give a group thank you. That way, I can spend more time commenting on your blogs. Thank you and peace, my friend.