Stadium Views


“Where do babies dome from?” or “How do you figure a batting average?” Which question will be answered today? by gpiv
May 18, 2010, 12:51 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Thirty one bottles of beer in the fridge.

By the way does anyone out there still call it a fridge.  Better yet does anybody out  there still call it an icebox.  My kids go nuts when I say icebox.  I remember my grandparents used to refer to appliances by their brand name.  “It’s over by the Philco.” or “Go look by the Norge.”  I’ll have to look at the brand name of mine when I go down for the Nebraska-Creighton game tonight.   Maybe we’ll start calling it the Kenmore or whatever.

I got that fridge from Wacko.  Paid him $50.00 for it about 10 or 12 years ago.  It still runs like a champ.  Usually I start cleaning it out from last College World Series about now.  The science experiments abound.  Do you believe that ketchup can sometimes grow mold?  And God forbid if I leave something like cheese in their for eight or nine months.

Wacko is also responsible for the most important piece of equipment at The View.  We have permanently on loan (remember I said I was bad at returning things when I borrow them) the world’s largest beer cooler.  Without it, a lot of those 40,000 beers would have been warm or Muzzy, the ice guy would have been dumping off a hundred pounds a day.

The worlds largest beer cooler isn’t really a beer cooler.  It’s an ice cream freezer from a grocery store with a wooden lid on it.  Like most all of the fixtures at The View, it’s got some age to it.  But every year, in about three weeks, I will plug it in, watch carefully for sparks , and then begin to fill it with provisions.  It holds approximately sixteen cases of beer, and a little soda.  And as long as I load it before I leave the night before, the beer is nice and cold in the morning.  You have to leave the beer in the cases so that it doesn’t freeze th beers next to the wall.

There’s two kinds of improvements at The View.  There’s the ones I undertake myself, and the ones I have somebody competant do.  Remember, I learned my construction skills from two sources.  First was my dad, who allowed me to help by going and getting the tools.  Hence the prior story where my help was usually rewarded with the statements, “Not that f—ing screwdriver,” or “Get the sharp saw.”  Like we had a sharp saw.

I digress.  My aforementioned grandfather was handy, in almost every arena of handiness.  However he wasn’t always the best at letting you learn from him.  It might be where I learned that you need to control everything lest it become screwed up.

Well my other source of construction skills was high school shop class.  My shop skills, except for drafting, were nothing short of atrocious.  However, because I was an athlete, I don’t think I got many grades less than a B and a lot of A’s.  I had Mr. Dostal for wood shop, who’s only interest in wood was to build a paddle with just the right number or holes in it so that when he hit you with it, it would suck portions of your butt right up into the paddle.  His only other goal was to make sure you didn’t cut any limbs or digits off.

I don’t think Mr. Dostal taught long enough.  Every construction guy I know in South Omaha is missing some appendage or portion thereof.

Before I get back to The View, my other shop teacher who was a dandy was Mr.  Johnson.  All I know about electricity I learned from him.  Hand me the plug, and in two attempts I can plug something in.  He didn’t know and ohm from a gnome, and as a result I don’t either.

He was our baseball coach also.  Talk about not knowing an ohm from a gnome.  They could have had him coach soccer or gymnastics or just about anything.  Reminds me of the commercial, “All you can eat cause you can’t eat any.”  Marv was all you can coach cause you can’t coach any.

He couldn’t hit fly balls to the outfield during pregame warm ups.  After flailing at the ball three times, and missing, the catcher would pick up the ball and throw a fly ball to the outfield, as the other team laughed uncontrollably.  When coaching third base the would simultaneously give you the stop sign with his left arm and be windmilling with his right, so that no matter what you would do, stop or run, it would be wrong.

The topper was when he yelled my name in shop class one day.  Fearing that he had borrowed Mr. Dostal’s paddle I sheepishly proceeded to the front of the class while my classmates were busy shocking each other.  As I arrived up front I was greeted with the coup de etat of coaching acumen as he queried, “Piv, do you know how to figure a batting average?”

I quickly gathered that in addition to not knowing an ohm from a gnome, math was not a strong suit for him.

So summoning the skills that I had learned in second grade, and understanding that I am a doer and not a teacher and have never in my life been able to understand why people just don’t know things like I do, I taught my high school baseball how to figure a batting average.

I walked away thinking, “What’s this guy going to ask me tomorrow?  Where do babies come from?”

If any of my kids are reading this I will help you with the above questions the same way I helped Marv.

You figure a batting average by dividing the total number of hits by the total number of at bats.

Since we started off talking about the improvements that have happened at The View since I’ve owned it and we haven’t got to that yet, it will have to wait until a future blog.  But for now one last Marv Johnson story.

I’m a freshmen on the varsity and we’re playing in a tournament out at Ralston.  I’m sitting the bench and you need to understand that in those days, our budget for baseballs was probably about a hundred dollars a year.  So a guy from the other team hits a foul ball.  Most of the older guys are down in the bullpen making fun of Marv and drinking pop, which wasn’t allowed on the bench.  So it’s me. Marv, and probably another freshman and a sophomore on the bench.

I was probably keeping score which was also a skill above Marv’s pay grade, when Marv turned to me and said, “Piv (since Pivovar was a challenging name for him, even though my older brother was in the bullpen making fun of him), go get that foul ball.”

At that point. I had an epiphany.  Up to that point in my life, except for laughing at my mom a couple of times when she spanked me and it didn’t hurt, at least until Dad got home, I had always been reverent and respectful of all adults.  So I had a choice to make.

My reply.

Of course, “Coach I’m a player, I don’t chase foul balls!”

A smart ass was born.  And still lives today.

I also learned a good lesson as I was kicked off the team the next day until the JV coach who couldn’t live without me told me to apologize, thereafter returning to both teams.

I won.  In four years I never chased a foul ball.

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