February 4, 2019

America’s Pastime

By John & Joan Maxwell
Cinnamon Ridge Farms

As February marks the start of baseball spring training, flipping the calendar over to February always brings back memories of playing baseball each spring and summer—well, come to think of it, every fall and winter too! Though our team practices and games were only held during the summer,  baseball was a favorite pastime in our family. From watching nearly every Cubbies’ games on our small black-and-white TV to analyzing my Little League games play-by-play over dinner, my family was steeped in baseball. Throughout the year, I was practicing. In between chores, I would throw up rocks and try to bat them over the corn crib. I would hurl a tennis ball against the broad side of our red barn to practice fielding and throwing. Whenever I could talk him into it, my brother and I would play in the cow yard on a modified “field.” There we usually drew a nice crowd of female spectators—though the wrong species to let the attention go to our heads!

In the summers my father was the coach of our Walcott town team. Although we’d have to scramble a bit to get evening chores done early, each game was worth it—even when we lost. It was great fun to travel throughout Scott and Muscatine counties, playing about 30 games a season. Fortunately, several seasons our hard work paid off, and we ended up winning the county championship twice. At the end of each season—championship or not—our team would celebrate by driving to the Windy City to go to a Chicago Cubs game. Being at Wrigley Field in the flesh was always the highlight of my year. I still remember seeing the Big Red Machine from Cincinnati—it’s something I’ll never forget!

Once I grew up and had a family of my own, I was glad to share my love of baseball. My daughters also enjoyed America’s pastime. Both played softball for the town team, and I coached my youngest daughter’s teams, winning a few trophies along the way. It is such a fun way to spend time as a family, and we still laugh together about many of those
memories.

So, whether you get excited about baseball spring training or not, be comforted to know that, despite the cold weather, spring is on the way. Whatever pastimes your family enjoys, be sure to talk about them over the dinner table—those memories will last a lifetime. Whether you’re shopping for a meal of soup on a cold evening or have dusted the snow off your grill, our Cinnamon Ridge Farms has you covered. Stop by our self-serve store north of Donahue, or pick up our delicious meats, cheeses, and other products at the I-80 Truckstop, North Scott Foods, or the Freight House Farmers Market.

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