On the Outs

On the Outs

A photo essay.

Of summer’s many symbols, the most American is baseball. Not major or minor league; not varsity or little league; but sandlot-style ball—raw, disorganized, unkempt baseball.

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Fall Free For All - September 19-25

In an isolated patch of Beaver Ponds Park, there’s a place where you can imagine kids on summer break mustering with hand-me-down gloves: the Frances Veitch Memorial Field, whose two diamonds mark a big upgrade over a literal sandlot. Each has four permanent bases, a pitcher’s mound, bench-lined dugouts, a big, solid backstop, a perimeter fence topped with yellow collision softener and even foul poles.

On the other hand, Veitch’s fields have surely seen better days—like, presumably, the ones that fell on the other side of summer, when the diamonds were used for Walter “Pop” Smith Little League games. Now, after warm, dry months of only unofficial use, the baselines are dusty and patchy, and most of the grass, while not unmowed, is baked to a straw-yellow crisp.

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Spreading Canvas at Yale Center for British Art

Its parched earth swept by increasingly autumnal winds, what was once the seat of a symbol of summer has become something else: a requiem for a season on the outs.

Frances Veitch Memorial Field
Near the intersection of Sherman Pkwy and W. Ivy St (map)

Written and photographed by Dan Mims.

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