Monday, March 03, 2008

Cast and Crew: Centerfield Bums

Just as there was an identifiable group of left field bleacher bums, there was one in center field as well. They sat just on the left field side of the "tunnel" in straight away center field. This tunnel was the gap between bleacher sections that provided the hitter's backdrop and the path for bringing things on and off the field through the center field gate.

Anyway, we could hear the centerfield bums yell, not always being able to make out what they yelled, and they had everyday regulars, just like we did. Before I got to know any of them, I knew them by nicknames given to them mostly by John and Mac. How these nicknames originated were sometimes beyond me and even beyond John and Mac too. Nicknames like Walsh, Grip and Mom. Mom was easy to understand because this lady always brought lots of kids to the game. I later found out that she ran a daycare out of her home, sometimes with special needs kids, and would bring them all to every day game. Walsh, whose name was really Dave, was the main heckler and the leader of group heckles. He always wore an old, faded felt A's hat from the early 70's, and was a hippie Berkeley attorney. Grip was a high school kid from Oakland. I later found out that Walsh had a brother there (the family name was White) who called himself Egg. So he was Egg White, and had an annual brain teaser trivia quiz. Another woman was Pegirae. There were a number of others who were there all the time that I never got to know. They had their special heclkings and group cheers, many of which we adopted.

Later on in the late 80's/early 90's another centerfield group arose, just on the right field side of the tunnel. They were early 20 something's who worshipped A's center fielder, Dave Henderson. They called themselves "Hendu's Bad Boy Club" and hung signs from the front row railing. They got to know Henderson personally and went out drinking with him, etc. I never got to know any of them. They were young and rowdy but had no sophistication beyond yelling "ooh, ooh, ooh" with their arms pumping like apes, as was the pop culture fad of the time. They also had the lowered Japanese pickup trucks with the loud subwoofers and the "bad boy" icon stickers (crew cut, scowl and protracted Popeye forearm.)

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1 Comments:

Blogger SunBerry said...

As I live and breath if it isn't "Bleacher Steve" I couldn't believe it when I stumbled on to your blog, being a fellow blogger... one whom David White called "Bleacher Barbie" you refer to correctly as "Pegirae" I thought OMG, I called Karla and made sure it was in fact you but I was pretty sure it was since you were the only Left field group I hung with. I remember you as having the other No Wave sign and as an A's Dodger fan, I also remember running into you a couple times at the stick. I wasn't aware the new stadium had bleachers? Are they good ones? Since I commute from Sactown, I go to more Rivercats games then the big show these days but being in your 40's does that too you. I posted about you too I am at sun_berry@livejournal.com. Congrats on being husband and father I have no doubts you will be a great one... you have no idea how much I miss the bums and the taunts and the innocence of the way it was.

7:21 PM, July 22, 2008  

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