Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ball Four, Baseball and Walking

Journal Entry July 27, 2010: Weight = 171.0 lbs.; Coinage = $1.57; Glass bottles = 6; Ground scores = 4.

Feature Entry: Baseball and Walking

This past week-end, the MoneyWalker with his friend from Oxford, MS completed our annual trip to watch the Houston, Astros play baseball. The Astros lost the first game because the pitcher issued three straight “walks” in the fourth inning. Eventually three runs scored and the Astros never recovered.

What kind of a team sport has a rule that forces players to walk? In baseball, take four balls and the umpire makes the player walk to first base. Sometimes a team will intentionally walk a runner. But the so-called walk is just baseball jargon. The base runner “walks” to first base because he doesn’t have to run in order to be “safe.” Baseball also has something called a “walk off the field” base hit or home run.

What about football? Players get in trouble with the coach if they “walk back to the huddle,” or walk off the field when being substituted. But there is no rule either way; it is the coach that wants the player to show hustle and a good attitude. In basketball a player can “walk the ball” up the court, sometimes under the orders of the coach. It allows the game to be slowed down.

This week-end my friend and I did a lot of walking even though our hotel was just across the street from Minute Maid Park. It was my DNA that caused the problem. The hotel wanted $25 dollars a night, but there was a free and safe place to park just one-half mile away. My DNA has a huge dose of frugality hard wired into the system. I could not pay the $50 for the week-end.

Then it happened. While walking to retrieve the vehicle, the MoneyWalker spotted two one dollar bills wadded together along the curb. Later, several pennies were found, then a quarter, and then a dime. It was all good. The daily one-half mile walk taken several times both days provided walking continuation, and the poor Astros not only lost both games Friday and Saturday giving their fans angst, a few unlucky souls even lost their pocket money in a way that rewarded my effort.

Oh well, that's baseball.



  1. I would have also walked a mile to save $25. I've never understood why the premium for close parking is so high. Given the health benefits of walking, you are paying to deny yourself the chance for exercise.

    Close parking usually also means after the event you spend time in your car waiting for traffic to clear. That is time you could be walking to your car and driving away as soon as you reach it. When I was a faculty member at the University of Iowa, we parked off-site for all the home basketball games. We almost always got home before neighbors who paid for parking close to Carver Hawkeye Arena.

    It's a sad commentary that many in the U.S. are not only physically inactive but also spend so much time (and money) to avoid exercise.

  2. Great post! Again, our lives seem to parallel. I just this evening went to a minor league baseball game with my mother, daughter and granddaughter. Four generations enjoying the cool evening air and Cracker Jacks! It was great fun and our team won. And yes, I parked two blocks away to avoid parking fees.