A stray sentence from Thomas Wolfe: The packed stands of the stadium, the bleachers sweltering with their unshaded hordes, the faultless velvet of the diamond, unlike the clay-baked outfields down in Georgia.
Reminds me of why the bleachers at the baseball field are called what they are. Unshaded. Because the spectators are bleached by the August sun, the poor bums who can’t afford to sit in the grandstand, the poor bums whose bums are not bleached but compressed, numbed by hard slats of bleacher benches. And that, of course, is why they invented the seventh inning stretch.
What an evocative term, bleachers. How malleable the English language. And I wonder who first used that word to describe that mosh pit of the common man, that mecca of baseball lovers all across the continent. What happy inspiration, what circuitous synapse suggested the relation between bleach, sun and old bones of baseball bums athwart the fields of dreams?
Maybe it was a touch of the sun.
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