I was taken to task recently for not giving as much space to the Travis Field memorial softball tournament as I did to the Artists-Writers Game. Suffice to say, if there had been fewer things going on the week it was contested, I would have written more about the tournament, and had there been more things going on the week of the Artists-Writers Game, I would have written less about the scribes and paletteers, confined, as I am, to one page these days vis-a-vis the three or four of yesteryear.
To my mind, both events were noteworthy, if for no other reason than they are played for worthy organizations, the Travis Field memorial scholarship fund in the tournament’s case, and the Retreat, the Eleanor Whitmore Early Childhood Center, Phoenix House, and East End Hospice in the case of the Artists-Writers Game, which they say was first played in Wilfrid Zogbaum’s front yard in Springs, where the Fields live, where I and my wife live, 75 years ago.
There was no turnip then, but there were two grapefruits and a coconut served up in the inaugural to Philip Pavia, a heavy-hitting sculptor who told me for a history of The Game I wrote in 1991 that after being fooled twice, he had asked to see the ball in his third trip to the plate. Offering a neatly shaved, painted, and stitched spheroid with a Spalding trademark, “The treacherous Esteban Vicente said, ‘Here, feel it.’ I did and it seemed basically okay. . . . When I hit it, it was like fireworks! The Fourth of July! It splattered all over . . . the kids ran out and ate the pieces. . . .”
The second year the Travis Field tournament was played, in 2009, Fran Graham said, “This tournament is a sweet thing — it kind of brings everybody together . . . it’s like a weekend away from working with your friends.”
It still is. There was a smoke trail “halo” in the sky that year too, which everyone saw, and which prompted Chris Field, Travis’s father, to say, “Pretty cool.”
So, yes, attention should be paid . . . all around.