Wolter: Random thoughts in a fleeting summer

Last week I grinned and took photos of the YMCA's annual All-Comers Track Meet on a very hot summer evening in Worthington. As the little kids made me smile at the softball throw and high jump stations, just a few feet away a sign of the fall pro...

Last week I grinned and took photos of the YMCA’s annual All-Comers Track Meet on a very hot summer evening in Worthington. As the little kids made me smile at the softball throw and high jump stations, just a few feet away a sign of the fall provided a jarring juxtaposition.

There, on the Worthington High School football practice field, a healthy-looking group of Trojan gridders participated in preseason workouts -- stripped to their shorts with their bodies glistening in the heat.

Fall is coming for sure.

While summer stubbornly remains, the mind wanders. Some thoughts:

--- There are still some Minnesota Twins fans out there who haven’t given up on the season. Many gave up after three weeks. But my cousin Denny announced at the All-Star break that he will still follow with interest every game in the second half of the campaign. Hats off to the true fans who swim against the cynical tide. To Dennis and fans like him, every Twins win is a cause for celebration, no matter how disappointing the overall picture has become. Bless their hearts.


--- Ah, the best-laid plans. I bought a pail of 50 golf balls last fall with great anticipation. This year I was going to go golfing often. Now it’s late July and I still haven’t played a round. I think I know what Tiger Woods must feel like.

--- On the other hand, I’m playing tennis three times a week. It’s fun, but frustrating. You know how people remind you that you’ve finally gotten old when you tell your body to do things it no longer wants to do? Yep.

--- I sat with Luverne VFW baseball coach Mike Wenninger in the Redbird Field press box during the Worthington-Pipestone sub-section baseball tournament recently. Great conversation. You can really learn a lot about the “little things” that separate average from excellent ballplayers when you listen to a guy like Mike.

--- Speaking of Redbird Field, here’s a question for the powers that be in Worthington: Why can’t this town build a beautiful grandstand around its baseball park like they’ve done in Luverne? Or Windom? Or Milroy? Or New Ulm, to name a few such venues? And maybe add a sweet concession stand, with shaded picnic tables. And while we’re at it, how much longer will this town go without a movie theatre?

--- On the plus side, kudos to all those responsible for constructing the new pickleball courts near Centennial Fields. They were beautifully done, and it’s nice to know that they’re being used and appreciated regularly.

--- Tell me there’s a Twins fan (Denny may be the exception) who’s not looking forward to the NFL season. I see that Minnesota Vikings superstar running back Adrian Peterson is reminding everybody this summer that he sees his team playing in the Super Bowl. Maybe. But early predictions like that seldom go well.

--- I listened to an ESPN analyst the other day complaining of a culture on college campuses that glorifies athletes. Hey, isn’t that what ESPN does every day?

--- The summer T-ball season is over for me, and also for my grandsons Jake and Tyson. When you look at it logically, T-ball is a pretty boring thing. Kids hit a stationary ball a few feet, run to first base and stay there until the next kid hits the ball. Then they run to second and stay there, too. In the field, hardly anyone can catch a batted ball. But, of course, I’m a grandpa. To me, the sport is fascinating.


--- Can’t help but wonder how the amateur baseball season would have been different this year had the Wilmont Cardinals not folded up shop. It will always seem like a travesty until someone puts that outfit back together.

--- For those of us who love the summer, it becomes impossible not to ponder why summer always seems so short. Here’s a theory sports fans can understand: With the NBA and NHL seasons extending well into the warm weather days, it always feels like summer starts late.

--- But we Minnesotans should never complain of too much summertime heat. Our long winters arrive soon enough. Rather, we are on much firmer ground when we complain of our all-too-frequent summer storms, which wash away all-too-many of our summer activities.

I’m on vacation this week. See ya on the golf course.

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