So we declared ourselves the winners, by a forfeit score of 9-0, of the game we might have played, thus guaranteeing ourselves a .500 winning percentage for the trip. With only two days left in our stay, and with the stadium to ourselves, we decided to hold our own workout, if for no other reason than to allow Fitz to realize his wish to pitch there.
The next day, on the way to our final game, in the town of Masaya, we stopped at the local market in a last-ditch effort to spend our c�rdobas. While there we heard a car with a loudspeaker advertising our game. When we arrived at Roberto Clemente Stadium there was a crowd of several hundred, three times as large as any we had seen before. The local team was also larger than usual—and about half as old as we were. The game was no contest. We were beat when we rode into town, and we were beaten before the first inning was over. Final score: 8-2.
After the game the Masaya players threw a party in our honor and apologized for putting our team of geezers up against the best of the region's younger ballplayers. Swell. The cerveza went down easy, however, and soon all was forgiven. The festivities ended in a flurry of trading—caps, T-shirts, gloves, pants, jerseys, stirrup socks and anything else that could decorously be removed. One of the Masaya second basemen seemed particularly keen on my five-year-old Rawlings fielder's glove. I asked him what kind of mitt he had, and he held up a floppy Danto. The deal was done. His dignified, wordless nod of thanks gave me the better part of the trade. That, after all, was why I had joined the Peace Goodwill Baseball Tour.
Contact Baseball for Peace (enclosing an S.A.S.E.) at 906 Plum Lane, Davis, Calif. 95616.