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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • RUSSELL HIVELY: Cross bearers and baseball

  • Morning weather has been filled with variety the last few weeks.
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  • Morning weather has been filled with variety the last few weeks. It rained one day, misted one day, was cold one day, and was windy another. Some mornings the weather “looks like a headache feels.”
    Still, I continue to try to walk along Wildcat Boulevard each morning. Sometimes, bad weather has forced me to postpone my walks until later in the day, which can bring different sights. On an afternoon walk on Good Friday, I spotted three people carrying crosses along the edge of Neosho Boulevard.
    Several motorists honked at the cross-bearers and those who accompanied them. The honking pleased me, as I assumed the drivers were supporting the cross-bearers and what they were representing.
    I was able to go to part of a baseball game the other afternoon. I hadn’t been to a game at Veta Street Park for several years. Going to the game brought back many fond memories.
    For several years in the 1980s, I covered baseball games for the Neosho Daily News. I had played a little baseball in high school, but knew nothing about keeping books. Luckily, Neosho High School had Lewie Tomlin as their official scorekeeper. He taught me to keep books correctly.
    Tomlin knew a great deal about baseball and had been an umpire for many years. He and I had such fun working in the press box. Lewie was still a bachelor then, so I would pack a lunch with enough food to share with him.
    Veta Street Park has by far the best press box anywhere. It is so good because you sit about 20 feet from the back of home plate. You are also elevated so you can see every ball as it passes over home plate.
    Probably the most fun times were when Anvil Welch, a sports reporter for an area newspaper, also sat in the press box with us. It seems that when Welch came to visit there would be a controversial play.
    One time a foul ball was dropped by the first baseman. Tomlin and Welch had a large discussion as to whether it should be scored as an error. Tomlin won, but you could tell there was doubt in Welch’s mind. The next week I was watching a professional ball game on television and the same play happened. Tomlin was proved to be right.
    Take a walk, live your convictions like the cross bearers did, go to a local baseball game this year, use those signal lights, and see what you notice while passing along Wildcat Boulevard.
    Russell Hively writes a weekly column for the Daily News.

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