Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sentimental Sunday: Horses and Baseball

Another Sentimental Sunday post by my dad:

My Dad’s Love of Horse Racing / Baseball by Jim Eiswerth

My dad is Joseph Francis Eiswerth. He was the only child in a farm family where he grew up with a strong German culture around the Bastress area of Pennsylvania. On the farm his dad, my grandfather, Edward Charles Eiswerth, had large horses to work the cultivated areas of their farm. However, Edward developed a good sense for the best horses, and liked to follow the development of thorough bred race horses. He posted pictures in their barn. He bred some horses on the farm for their use of for sale. My dad and mom still like to watch the Triple Crown races on TV, and my dad will comment on what he learned from his dad about horses, although my mom is better at picking the winners.

Now for baseball, it might be hard to imagine my dad as an only child on a remote farm being exposed too much to baseball. Well it turns out that his spinster Aunt Agnes, worked for an influential doctor who had ties to a baseball team in Williamsport. She arranged for some of the ball players to visit my grandfather’s farm to take a break from their normal routine. One of the biggest drawing cards for the farm visit was to taste some of the home-made wines that Grandfather Edward made as a hobby. Well the ball players always brought along their gloves, bats, etc. After a glass or two of wine they would start goofing around. Often, they would take my dad out to one of the fields and start teaching him how to pitch or bat. Eventually the word got out about the wine, and more players would come, until they had enough players for a fun Sunday afternoon ball game. They got to know my dad, and as it turned out, when my dad joined the Navy in WW II, he had an opportunity to go to a major league baseball game in Boston. One of the pitchers for the game was a frequent visitor to their farm when he was in the minor league at Williamsport. He recognized my dad, and took him and dad’s other sailor friend out for dinner after he won the game. When we were growing up, my dad took us to lots of Williamsport ball games, and he still likes to attend them when my brother is available to take him. He also took us to all the major league ball parks around our area – Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Washington, and New York. Dad still likes to talk baseball players when we chat on the phone.

1 comment:

  1. Tna, a delightful post. Really enjoyed it. Guys do love their baseball --- and horses. In my grandpa McPherson's family, we had a of baseball players. One of his cousins was such a baseball lover that they played "Take me Out to the Ballgame" at his funeral --- He was a catcher and they brought in a home plate to put before the casket --- so he could be behind home plate one last time.
    Thanks for jiggling those old memories

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