During away games our assistant manager and I would look for places that served homemade chili. We’d usually get takeout in the form of a large Styrofoam bowl, some oyster crackers and a quart of milk. The only thing was, he was in his late 60’s and his digestive system would report chili all evening long. He’d also get the hiccups to boot. I learned quickly to take the bullpen when he came on the road with us. Sitting next to him in the dugout when he got a hiccup fit while the chili was working was like being in the base section - at a three-quarters time, with John Phillips Sousa – and then some.
Sometimes coaches in the leagues that I was with had to do field maintenance from time to time. One coach in particular always left his indelible mark on the field when laying down the lime for the first and third baselines. If, before a game, he had visited our local VFW, Legion, Sons of Italy, Sons of Erin, or Polish American Veterans Club, his line of sight was, to say the least, subject to debate. The best part was watching the collection of umpires and coaches at home plate going over the ground rules – especially the part covering fair and foul balls.