From Home Plate Day 8 – Durbanville – Umpire Robert Slabinski

Jan 3: Another glorious day in Capetown. We played another 2 games at Durbanville. Umpire Bob decided to jump on the Eden bus to travel to the field. The bus traveled along the coast to the fields. It was beautiful along the coast, magnificent looking beaches, but also sad as we traveled past the shanties. Kind of puts your life into perspective. You see beautiful and you see ugly. Makes you stop and appreciate everything you have.

In the early game, we had Eden Baseball Academy play Pole-2-Pole II (P2P). Umpire Bob has been really talking it up to the Eden team, offering words of encouragement, trying to get them to play better, harder. The game started out great with Eden scoring an early run in the first inning. Could this be the breakout game, could they be on their way to winning a game? My fingers were crossed. Sadly, it did not happen, Eden lost 18 – 2. I still have my hopes, there must be a “Cinderella Moment”. The Eden team has heart, they try hard but they are overmatched and sometimes, too many errors. But, on the bright side, they are getting some really great experiences on and off the field. We had a stellar umpiring crew, Vladimir was on plate, Albert at first, Denver at second and Geno at third. If you remember, Vladimir is first and foremost a coach for Eden, but he is also an umpire in South Africa. So, he had the privilege of calling a game on the plate. He remembered his previous day’s teachings and with some in game corrections, he did a great job. His slot position was outstanding, we did have to correct the lean and hand position during the game, his strike call was spot on, stand tall and POUND THAT DOOR. At the conclusion of the game, Umpire Bob was extremely proud that his pupil had done so well.

In the afternoon match,
 we once again had Deutsche Baseball Academy (DBA) vs Pole-2-Pole (P2P). By game time the wind had picked up a little, blowing out to left field. The game was excellent with DBA getting off to an early lead of 6 – 3. But the P2P kids would not go down without a fighting chance. By the time the 7th inning rolled around, the score was 10 – 5. In the bottom of the 7th, P2P posted 2 quick runs, can we say RALLY??

But the momentum died out and the game ended 10 – 7. Again, both teams should be proud. In the 2nd inning, the P2P shortstop, Luke, made all 3 outs, OUTSTANDING! On the plate was Bob, at first was Denver, at second was Geno and the rabbit at third was Albert. Our attendance was 87 fans, game time was 2:35. We are starting to move these games along!

We returned to the campground at about 10 PM. There was a blustery chilly wind blowing. But this did not stop the teams from gathering in the outdoor dining area and having a fabulous time. When my head hit the pillow, the teams were still having a great time. It is fabulous to see this type of FUN!!

Fun Fact: Between one of the innings, the third base umpire ran off the field, over a small mound and stopped. A minute later, he was feeling fine and all set to go. Wonder what he had to do? I will let you think about this.

Pranksters: The young ladies that are helping with cooking, cleaning and anything else continue to play pranks on Bob. Before the series started, with Bob’s permission, they died some of his hair blue. Now they have resorted to locking Bob in the equipment room at night. We hear Bob beating on the door trying to get out. The equipment room is where Bob is sleeping!

Food: The food is outrageous! Auntie Audrey can whip up a mean dish in a moments notice. The food at the ballpark is also awesome. A couple of nights ago we had a chicken curry dish in a bread bowl, called “Bunnie Chow”, OUTSTANDING! I think Bob may be renegotiating his food deal with CNLL when he gets home.

The End is Near: On Wednesday, we will be playing the final game for the Eden team and the final game for DBA / P2P will be Friday night under the stars.

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