Topic: "Glory Days"
"Tinker-to-Frodo-to-Chance" would be how history would have to re-write itself to accomodate the dreams of a Hobbit. Only the position fielded by the second baseman could serve the physical attributes of the smallest and the weakest. Perhaps that is why Frodo has always loved baseball, because it is the game that didn't exclude him.
In the Shire there is much invested in baseball. From the youngest years, fathers wait in interminable lines to register their sons in the best leagues in the choicest locations. Leagues and tournaments require travel to lands far beyond the Shire for children not yet in their teens.
There are no ballfields standing empty for a quick game between 8 or 9 good friends with one bat, and pieces of cardboard for bases. A horse-and-buggy is a more likely occurrence in the Shire than the kind of pick-up game that Frodo once knew. It is no longer a game, it is a development plan for professionals, and the stakes are enormous.
The Gallant Braves of the Shire are the social center of Summer in the South, and this year is unique among so many others. The Gallant Braves are riddled with injury, necessitating massive line-up changes just to field a team. Many of the players called up to play for the Gallant Braves are barely old enough to drink, much less vote. It has been a painful experience for the Gallant Braves to lose games because of inexperience.
Something is different, though, as the players have gotten used to each other. They are playing much better, and they are laughing. They are acting like they are supposed to be here, and they are enjoying it. Several of these young men are from the area around the Shire, and they are playing for the professional team in their home-town.
It is as if Frodo is watching the sons of some of those guys who used cardboard for bases, and only had one bat. Much has changed, but the smiles are the same.
Frodo may talk Sam into a night at the ballpark, and, in truth, there will not be a major objection. Sam noted on the first visit to Turner Field (built when Jane was in residence with Ted) that there were a more than adequate number of restrooms and stalls. Frodo, in order to avoid the "gender inequity in restroom availability legislation" which Sam has threatened to have introduced in the House of Representatives, does not propose outings without first determining the scope of facilities.
Sam will probably think the new guys are cute. Alas.