Due to the heat a few of us are staying inside more lately. That requires watching extra television and that means more baseball. Every few games a wooden bat breaks and folks go to dodging. Somebody will say, “Why don’t they use aluminum bats and stop that problem?” It seems solving “that problem” would create many more. The most important reason is safety for fans and players. The player in most danger is the pitcher. Maybe you have seen a pitcher get hit by a batted ball. They have trouble now getting out of the way. When you consider a batted ball from aluminum bats travels up to twenty five miles an hour faster you see how much more dangerous it becomes. Others in danger are those players in the infield, players in the dugout, and fans near first and third bases. An aluminum bat begins to flatten after you make a few hits with it and also cracks. Another problem is think of how many more home runs would be hit. All the old records would soon be demolished. It is estimated the fence would have to be out 600-800 feet to stay comparable with the old records.

    The speed a ball leaves a bat is referred to as exit speed. The average major league batter produces an exit speed of 103 miles per hour with a wooden bat. Aluminum bats produce exit speeds up to twenty five miles per hour faster. You need an exit speed of 94 mph to home run over a short fence. An aluminum bat going up to twenty five mph faster would be like a bat on steroids. You know how major league baseball hates steroids. What about the speed of a pitched ball? Most agree the fastest pitched ball was by Nolan Ryan with 100.9 in 1974. The average fourteen year old pitches about 65 mph.

    According to the internet here are some of the exit speeds of batted balls by some famous players using wooden bats. Michael Cuddyer—108, Vladimir Balentin–107, Mark Reynolds—107, Nelson Cruz—106,  Albert Pujols—106, Prince Fielder—105, Carlos Pena—104. Some “experts” even suggest the ping from a ball batted from an aluminum bat would soon drive fans crazy. They are programmed to hear the “whack” from a wooden bat. Attendance would drop if aluminum bats were used. The stock market would suffer. Ships would stop in mid ocean. Alaskans would be the most sane people on earth since they probably don’t watch a lot of baseball. So next time you see a splintered bat flying all over the stands, dufouts, and field, just be glad they aren’t using aluminum bats.  

    Let’s go back to 1987 and see what things were like during cooler, wetter weather. Maybe that will make us more comfortable. October 24. Saturday. I had planned to go bow hunting but it was raining when my alarm went off at 5:20. By noon the rain had stopped and I grilled steak at the Charleston Store. Those at the store were Smoky Bates, Randy Jenkins, Jacob Toon, Bret Williams, and Jason Toon. Blacksmith C. R. Williams from Bogata stopped by a while. Last night Cooper barely beat Honey Grove 34-28. Never could get the knockout punch on them. Their Homer Garner is a heck of a player in all sports. Thursday night in the junior varsity game we won easily and Shawn Silman had his best game ever. Scored a rushing TD, a receiving TD, recovered fumbles, and intercepted a pass. Also we had twin set right with Bret and Cade Alley. Shawn threw a lateral to Cade then Cade hit Bret for a TD. Shawn also played a lot of middle linebacker and made several tackles.

    Saturday, October 31, 1987. Spent last night in tent at Bluff Bank. Alarm at 5:15. Up and crossed river. To my stand. Saw no deer but lots of birds. Red shouldered hawk, pileated woodpecker, red headed woodpeckers, yellow bellied sapsucker, hermit thrush, cardinals, chickadees, wrens, and blue jays. Back to camp and looked for arrowheads. Found a 1964 nickel and a 1937 wheat penny. Grilled pork chops and listened to Oklahoma beat Kansas 71-10. At store I visited with Jolly Peters, Smoky Bates, Randy Jenkins, Doc Watson, Ed Watson, Huck, Dale, and David Elmore. Mr. Ed Watson had just come from his surprise birthday party at the Cooper Civic Center.

    November 1, 1987. Sunday. At 5:30 I got my Sunday School Book and notepad to prepare Sunday School lesson while I sat beneath tall trees squirrel hunting. For five weeks now Paul has been giving those Galatians fits. Wood ducks right in front of me in a little slough. Saturday, November 14, 1987.  First day of deer season. Alarm at 3:45. Cooked breakfast. Sheila, Wade, and Larry came. To river and it was up about a foot. No paddle. Used a one by four to get across by myself and tied a rope across for a ferry. Jean got up in the “Coon Tree” and I was about 150 yards northeast in the “Bobcat Stand.” Fifty degrees. At 7:30 there were several shots toward Tira and Sand Hill. At 7:55 I heard a much closer shot and knew it was Jean. She was using my twelve gauge with buckshot. Soon I heard her yell and knew she had a buck down. Sheila got there about the time I did and we looked at the buck. It was an eleven point, Jean’s first. After gutting the buck we started for the boat, over a half mile away. Normally I don’t have to take a deer off my shoulders but today I had to rest three times. Thought I was sick. Seemed like a normal sized deer for this area, about 100-105 pounds gutted. It took three of us to get the buck up the steep bank. At the store we weighed the deer and I found out why I had to set it down a few times. It weighed 125 pounds. Now back to 2015 and the hot, dry weather.

    August 15, 2015 Venus changes from the “evening star” to the “morning star” but you can’t see it for a few mornings because it will be too close to the Sun. Or you may not be able to see it because you’re still in the bed.

    These jokes are from the old Hee Haw program so they may be a little corny. I crossed an elephant with an armadillo. What did ye get? I don’t know but it shore does make some holes in the yard.

    That lady singer last night at the program sure had a large repertoire, but her dress covered up most of it. What do they call the Hee Haw show in Arkansas? Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.

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