Tuesday, August 23, 2011
These are not the bleachers at Fenway Park, that I've put my fanny in on many a trip to Lansdowne Street in Boston. These wooden bleachers are found behind home plate at the Oaks. Interesting word 'bleachers'. The term has been around since about 1877, referring to the boards that the baseball fans would sit on under the hot sun, hence 'bleaching' them. They were usually found in the outfield area and were unprotected and uncovered. The term not only identified the type of seats but also the inhabitants of the wooden planks. Now, there was a stretch back in the early 60's when my brother was the batboy for the Andrews Post American Legion baseball team. The team was loaded with fine high school stars and played their home games here at the Oaks. My Dad and I would take in most of the Sunday doubleheaders sitting not in the bleachers but on the cool, grassy hill behind the third base line. I chased many a foul ball among the trees on those afternoons, and occasionally got a broken bat too, that I'd take home and repair with tape for our use in backyard games. Baseball, my favorite game.