Zachary Gray – Sports Editor
During my younger years, I spent most days with my older brother, Eric. The winters consisted of playing Nintendo 64, drinking hot chocolate, and jumping in the snow. But when the weather finally got warmer, we spent most days playing outside. Eric was always
into baseball; I kind of just followed what he did up until high school when I joined the varsity wrestling team. Up until the winter of 2006, the Brothers Gray had a knack of coming up with various successful yard gamesSince baseball was commonplace in the Gray Family, the games Eric and I came up with were usually wiffleball-based. The best
game we came up with, in my opinion, is The Point Game. Bases are set up in the yard at equal distances from each other in the traditional diamond shape. The beauty of The Point Game is the lack of multi-man teams; each person plays for his or herself. This was helpful when our nephews and nieces would come over and we had an uneven number of kids playing.
Each player would bat as if it was a lineup, only they weren’t on the same team. When everyone bats, the inning is over and the leadoff hitter starts the next inning. Scoring was based off of hit results. A single is one point, double: two, triple: three, inside-the-park home run: four, and over-the-fence home run is five.
Games are played to either a score or inning limit. When a player reaches the scoring limit (usually 25), the remaining players in the lineup have their final at-bats. Outs are recorded “Indian-rubber” style: catch, tag, or hit the runner with the ball. This made games rather interesting when trying to prevent my 6-year-old nephew from scoring.
Although The Point Game was flawless, my brother and I had to switch things up at times. Home run derby was a regular for us. Neither of us really owned the other, but I’m sure Eric would argue that he dominated.
Somehow the game of Tron came from the mind of Eric. Yes, the same Tron based on the Disney movie. There weren’t many rules with Tron; just hit another person with a cushioned Frisbee.
Not all of the mindless games came from Eric. While with my friends from home, we invented Epic Ball. It was similar to Tron with the whole “let’s hit someone” concept, but a wiffleball bat was used to send a yoga ball towards the opponent.
When Eric left for college, the games halted for some time. We’d occasionally play them when he returned. Now, with us traveling more, the yard games are a rare occasion. Maybe we’ve out-grown them, maybe we don’t have time, or maybe we found other
means of fun. Regardless of what it is, I hope we can still let our nieces and nephews continue
the games we started at their age, and then eventually pass them to the children I may have one day. I’m sure Eric would love to see his children take full advantage of the Indian-rubber rule against my kids.