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Someone shared on a PM that at his son's school a teammate had recently been baptized on the college ballfield.  

It seems to me that a baptism on a baseball field is utterly appropriate. God loves baseball, after all, as is inerrantly obvious  in Chapter 1, Verse 1, of the book of Genesis: "In the big inning...."

Let's see....what other spiritual, mystical, metaphysical, transcendental, transcultural occasions could happen on a baseball field?  A Bar Mitzvah? Enlightenment? Kneeling on a prayer rug and bowing to the east? A funeral pyre?

Uh oh, I feel a free association fugue coming on...

Speaking of funerals, don't tell anyone, not a soul, but I've scattered my dad's ashes all over the country: at Cooperstown, at the boys' HS and college fields, at my HS field, and at Avista Stadium in Spokane, where, during the 70s, Dad and I used to watch the AAA Dodger teams of Garvey, Lopes and Cey, Wilhelm, Valetine, and Russell, too.

Future  scattering sites I'm considering: T-Mobile Park in Seattle, Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, a bowling alley in Schenectady and, maybe, where I played Club Nine for the first time: the ball field at the International School of Brussels.

I think in the big ballparks, outfield seats right at the wall would attract the least attention but still provide the most opportunity for ash drama, that well-known euphemism for scattering cremains, come what may. (BTW, until 5 minutes ago, I didn't know "cremains" was a word but now that I do, it makes so much sense, and I will use it every chance I get.)

Since you asked, the most alarming, yet entertaining, Dad-scattering (so far) occurred on August 8, 2013, at Cooperstown Dreams Park three years after he died. It was actually the very first time I scattered Dad anywhere.  As I remember it, my middle son's tournament had ended the night before which was good because that morning it was raining. Most other teams had already left for their respective homes and the next group of campers hadn't yet arrived. The park was still, quiet, that kind of quiet that settles in after a mass of humanity has abandoned some kind of celebration, like a small town Main Street, in the dusk after some annual parade.  Maybe the day after Woodstock was like this. I don't know, but you get the idea .  My players were clearing out our barracks, so I took the quart-size freezer-weight ziplock bag filled with my dad's cremains (I got to use it in a sentence!) out of the secret pocket in my suitcase and escaped to the gently sloping, grassy hillside above Fields 11-14.  

Because of the rain, which was falling harder and harder, no one else was there.  Clouds were low over the surrounding hills and it actually felt like the end of a day, instead of the  beginning of one.  I found a spot high on the slope, where I thought my dad would be able to watch the games below, and I opened the bag and looked over both my shoulders to make sure no one was watching.  Then I tipped the bag upside down and the ashes, which, as you probably know, are more like ground-up chalky-colored pebbles, started falling to the grass. That's the precise moment a gust of wind--that I estimate to be about the same strength as an F-4 tornado--ripped the bag out of my hands and blew. ashes. everywhere.  In my face, on my wet shoes, on my jacket, in my hair. It was as if one of those dye bags that tellers give bank robbers had blown up all over me.

This link, with two of the dudest dudes I know, is a fair approximation of my experience.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OrGhs2TQDM

And, while the moment had elements of slapstick, it also spoke of deeper, more serious stuff. In my naïveté, I briefly thought Dad might just dissolve into the earth at my feet,  but then I realized the obvious: Dad was not simply some fragile powder that would easily disappear.  He was bits of hard, durable bone.  He was home on that hillside and he is gonna last there longer than my memory will last, longer than my lifetime. Some day, sooner than I wish, I will also come home and join him on that hillside, and some day, I hope long, long, long after that, my sons will come home, too.

But, now, I'm wondering where to share Dad next. I still have some of him left.  Maybe Florida this time, where the spring break tournaments are and where I pray the spring breezes will be calm. Thank God for baseball.

I was ionized but I'm okay now... Buckaroo Banzai

Last edited by smokeminside
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Interesting . . .  My son renewed his faith by being baptized (again - he was baptized as a child) on his school's baseball field this week along with three other teammates.  When I asked him about it, he said that he wanted to renew faith for himself, and he hoped that doing it in front of many of his teammates would inspire others to do the same.  Why the baseball field? He replied that is where he makes the most impact and has a leadership role, so why not incorporate faith into it and hopefully impact others in that way.

At this point, he will do what he will do on the baseball field, and I will be "proud pappa" and cheer him on all the way, whether it stops at the college level or continues, but this was, besides his birth, the most special day of his life to me.  I am just sorry that I was not there to witness it in person, though he sent me video and pics directly afterwards.  He is on his own, at college, playing ball with all that comes with that, and to see him put faith at the forefront of his life . . . well, there is simply not much more that I, as a parent, can ask for.   

Last edited by Bulldog

Smoke,

You've obviously given this a lot of serious thought, and my condolences for your Dad's passing.  Was this planned with your Dad's wishes or just a loving son doing what loving son's do?  You've inspired me to action.   Recently, I've been talking to my parents about how to handle their affairs when they pass...not an easy topic but my parents have made it easy for me.   I'm going to ask my Dad what he wants me to do with his "cremains" (I like it!) when we're together for Thanksgiving.  I'll make sure I bring it up before we discuss politics, and he pisses off my wife.   He loves baseball , and my Uncle told me he was the best high school shortstop in the area at the time.   He showed me some newspaper clippings, and pictures.  He was a big deal.  Apparently baseball talent skips one generation in my family.

I'll show him the "Dude" video, but I suspect he's not looking for something as dramatic as a cliff over the Pacific on a windy day.  I'm hoping he doesn't tell me that he wants his remains spread over the ballpark where he grew up in Newark....I've seen it (only in daylight) and it is not in a nice part of town after all these years.  Fingers crossed.

In the big inning...   love it.  Great thread.

I had a definitive list in my mind of the handful of places I wanted my ashes spread (certainly to include a ballpark or two).  A few years later, I've forgotten the list.  Maybe I better put something on paper and give the paper to someone who won't forget where they put it.  Then again, I wonder... if I forgot it already, will it be that important to me after the fact?? 

Early in our marriage, I told my DH that I wanted to be cremated and the cremains spread at all 18 holes on the golf course....so I would know he would come visit me.

Some of my dad's ashes are at a local famous BBQ joint off a major highway.  I told one of the family members/owners of the BBQ place about 15 years later and they thought that was a hoot.  Daddy loved that place and I didn't stop when he wanted to, which would have been his last time.

Last edited by keewart
@cabbagedad posted:

In the big inning...   love it.  Great thread.

I had a definitive list in my mind of the handful of places I wanted my ashes spread (certainly to include a ballpark or two).  A few years later, I've forgotten the list.  Maybe I better put something on paper and give the paper to someone who won't forget where they put it.  Then again, I wonder... if I forgot it already, will it be that important to me after the fact??

If you can't remember was it really that important?

@keewart posted:

Early in our marriage, I told my DH that I wanted to be cremated and the cremains spread at all 18 holes on the golf course....so I would know he would come visit me.

Some of my dad's ashes are at a local famous BBQ joint off a major highway.  I told one of the family members/owners of the BBQ place about 15 years later and they thought that was a hoot.  Daddy loved that place and I didn't stop when he wanted to, which would have been his last time.

If he is where I think he is.....Daddy is in a GREAT place, and knows his BBQ.  Love that place too!

As a funeral director/embalmer, I hear all kinds of stories and wishes. A few years ago I had a lady request something a little different….with her permission I will share.

Said lady has requested to be cremated when she dies. She wants me to separate her ashes into small bags (picture the old rice bags at weddings), and at the end of her memorial service give everyone a bag of her cremains. She says people can take her cremains and do with them as they please. “The ones that actually like me can spread me at a special place or keep me in their house to remember me. The ones that don’t like me, well, they can flush me down the toilet, throw me in the trash, etc.” She says, by doing this, everyone gets their wish, including her.

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