Baseball has way of joining past, present enjoyment

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If you want to test your memory, try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today.

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-- E. Joseph Cossman

Thank you, Ernest Odom.

I had gone to Sunday's Augusta GreenJackets game to see the professional debut of future pitching star Madison Bumgarner. That's when Mr. Odom stopped me on my way up to the press box and suggested I update a story I wrote ... "May 18, 1980."

I have to admit respect for a memory so prodigious, so I thanked him for the suggestion and asked whether he could please refresh my memory on exactly what I had put in this newspaper so long ago that no player on the field had been born when I did it.

Mr. Odom smiled and said it was a Sunday Chronicle-Herald story on Augusta baseball and Jennings Stadium, which had been torn down years before.

Baseball games are like that, particularly in Augusta, where you're liable to run into all sorts of people who enjoy watching a game and remembering.

Me, too.

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THE LAWS OF GOLF: Back to small ball. Here are some rules shared by someone who apparently knows:

- No matter how bad your last shot was, the worst is yet to come.

- Your best round of golf will be followed almost immediately by your worst round ever. (The probability of the latter increases with the number of people you tell about the former.)

- New golf balls are water-magnetic. The more expensive, the greater its attraction to water.

- The higher a golfer's handicap, the more qualified he deems himself as an instructor.

- And, a golfer hitting into your group will always be bigger than anyone in your group. Likewise, a group you accidentally hit into will consist of a football player, a professional wrestler, a convicted murderer and an IRS agent -- or some similar combination.

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TODAY'S GOLF JOKE: After a particularly poor game of golf, a popular club member skipped the clubhouse and started to go home.

As he was walking to the parking lot to get his car, a policeman stopped him and asked, "Did you tee off on the 16th hole about 40 minutes ago?"

"Yes," the golfer said.

"Did you happen to hook your ball so that it went over the trees and off the course?"

"Yes, I did. How did you know?" the golfer asked.

"Well," said the policeman very seriously, "your ball flew out onto the highway and crashed through a driver's windshield. The car went out of control, crashing into five other cars and a fire truck. The fire truck couldn't make it to the fire, and the building burned down. And a whole lot of people want to know what are you going to do about it?"

The golfer thought it over carefully and responded: "I think I'll close my stance a little bit, tighten my grip and lower my right thumb."


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