Saturday, June 02, 2007

Change-up Pitch

Number 2 son and I took in an Ole Miss baseball game last night in Oxford. Ole Miss is hosting one of the 16 NCAA Div I Regionals in our ballpark, and we watched the Rebels down the Sam Houston State Bearkats 14--5. The game was sold out. In fact, the stadium only seats 4700 or so and there was an announced crowd of over 7000 there. We sat on a hill behind third base.

I couldn't help but marvel at the difference 30 years makes. When I was simulating the act of getting a college education (I always say, "I didn't go to college--I went to Ole Miss") in Oxford in the late seventies, college baseball was not a big thing. Our team played on a field that shared the outfield with the football team's practice field. There were intramural softball fields on campus that were in better shape and had more seats in the stands. A game was lucky to have more spectators in the stands than players in the two dugouts.

Even more discombobulating to me is the location of the new ballpark. As I told #2 last night (he feigned interest--he has lots of practice at that), "when I was at Ole Miss...", the field where the baseball stadium sits today was an intramural field on which we NROTC midshipmen marched each Thursday and took out our pent up aggression (wearing a uniform on a college campus in the seventies built up a lot of repressed aggression) in very rough football games.

Lots of other major changes on the campus since I left in 1978--new buildings, new roads, new football stadium additions. The Grove, the oak-shaded park that is the geographic center and heart of Rebel Nation, is still intact. It looks smaller now; the rest of the campus has grown taller and crowded around it.

One thing else hasn't changed--Ole Miss is still home to the prettiest women on the planet. And, they still dress up to go to a ball game. Some good things never change.
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