IN THE GAME Home runs are called fuoricampi, which translates literally to outfields, in the sense of "out of the park." Hits are valide, or "valids." And a strike out is a strike out. It's pretty adorable, when the field announcer at Stadio Nuevo Europeo in Parma exclaims, "Strike! Three! Out!"
At one point last Saturday, Parma's starter Jose Sanchez struck out seven in a row. Over six shutout innings, he struck out 12, so we got to hear it a lot:
IN THE GAME In a pink dress, with a pink hair tie and those little pink sneakers that light up every time you take a step, she dominated the Alameda High School hardwood. I'm going to guess she was three. How else to explain the dogged determination with which, time after time after time, she took aim at the far-away hoop, and with all her cute-little-cutey-pie might heaved the basketball to a point about a foot-and-a-half in front of her feet. Bounce, plop, and roll ...Read more »
IN THE GAME It's not kickball; it's matball. Which looks a lot like kickball, with one big difference: You can have more than one runner at a time on any given base. You can have up to three, but if a fourth is incoming, someone's got to go.
You don't have to stop running, either, when you reach home, in some versions of the game. You can keep going — back to first, and around the bases again. In gym class, this was a way to make kids run laps without quite exactly knowing it.Read more »
They have cheerleaders at semi-pro football games. They have semi-pro cheerleaders. At halftime the five of them went out to the 50-yard line of the Rancho Cotate High School football field in Rohnert Park and put on a li'l halftime show.
I'm not a dog. Nevertheless, I really really felt like chasing Frisbees. The girls were good, but the halftime show could have used . . . something. Maybe a semi-pro Frisbee dog.Read more »
IN THE GAME Gio Camacho, captain of the West Point women's boxing team, sang the national anthem into the ring announcer's microphone, wearing boxing gloves. Then she climbed into the ring and beat the beans out of University of Maryland's Catherine Breslin, who looked a little bewildered.
This was the first fight on a 21-bout card the second night of the inaugural United States Intercollegiate Boxing Association tournament held at USF last weekend. Incredibly, it was the first collegiate tournament to crown women champions, as well as men.Read more »
IN THE GAME Did you see what Jed Lowrie (swoon) did last Wednesday, on the very day my column about him hit the streets? He propelled the A's to their first win of the regular season, going 3-3 with a walk, the game-winning 2-run double, and a home run. In fact he hit two doubles that game, then two more the next — also a win.
This means he loves me too. Although . . . it's hard to imagine he got a very good look from way down there on the field.Read more »
At the beginning of class, the children of the Oakland Kajukenbo Kwoon circle up and take a knee, with their heads bowed and their little fists pressed into the hardwood.
"I am powerful!" one little voice squeaks.
"I am fierce!" shouts the next.
"I am speedy!"
"I am unstoppable!"
It's so freakin' cool I don't know what to do with myself and have to play with my phone just to keep from crying. They are learning something I wish I'd learned at five: how to have a say in things.Read more »