Ghosts of Pitchers and Shakers

This is the view from behind home plate at Heritage Park. Once upon a time, if you sat in this spot you could watch a baseball game. Now you can sit and watch the weeds grow.

You can tell where the field was, but any hint of the game they played here, the baselines, pitcher’s mound, the dugouts — they are all obliterated.

Heritage Park was once home to the Albany-Colonie A’s, Yankees and finally the Diamond Dogs. I always thought they should have named a team The Shakers, in memory of the people who lived here communally, worshipped, and worked the land.

While baseball is just a memory, you can glimpse the shadow of the Shakers all around. Just beyond what was once the baseball stadium is a Shaker cemetery and what’s left of their orchards. Farther off you can see some of their buildings still standing on what was  America’s first Shaker settlement.

Shaker founder Ann Lee told her followers, “Do your work as though you had a thousand years to live and as if you were to die tomorrow.”

Not bad advice, whether you are swinging a bat or plowing a field.

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