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.

4 thoughts on “Ghosts of Pitchers and Shakers

  1. Our daughter went to school for three years at the Darrow School, on the grounds of the New Lebanon Shaker Village. She lived and studied in classic old Shaker buildings, and the school embraced the more secular/ecumenical elements of Shaker tradition . . . the focus on community, thrift, “hands to work, hearts to God,” and equality between the sexes was pretty powerful stuff. Too bad they added that whole celibacy thing into the mix, though . . . that’s pretty much Rule Number One on the “How Not to Get Your New Religion to Catch On” list . . .

    1. I’ve driven down onto the Darrow School several times to look at the school and the stone ruins of one of the Shaker buildings. Fascinating.

  2. I seem to remember a big hoopla about building the stadium there.

    It was something about respect and honoring those who have gone ahead.

    Glad we took good care of that so important stadium.

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