Rule of thumb: If you are sitting in a place where ball is being played — any sort of ball — keep your eye on the field. This was a good policy on Memorial Day as Wiffle balls rained from the sky, bounced off plates of picnic fare, knocked over drinks, and pelted party-goers.
We were up on the deck, which was home run territory under the impromptu ground rules. If the ball bounced off the railing it was a triple. I managed to catch several homers, which was thrilling. I always brought my glove to games at Shea Stadium as a kid, but was never rewarded with a foul ball.
The Wifflers continued, and indeed, it was a slugfest. One epic blast actually sailed through the open screen door and landed in the house somewhere — which is like hitting one right out of the ballpark.
We are always reminded on Memorial Day to consider the holiday’s true meaning. I think I found some of that watching the young men pound the Wiffle ball. How many kids who never came home played this game in backyards just like this? I think many of them would rather be remembered not with sadness and flowers, but hot dogs and Wiffle ball.