Pirates of the Hage


Of the Hage?

Yes, you read that correctly.

Not Penzance, the Hage!

Saturdays were Pirates days.  In my family that is.  Particularly for me and my Dad… These were happy and special days and I loved Saturdays with my Dad.  And I’m talking about baseball and in particular, Pirates Baseball Club!  Not Red Sox, oh no, they were the arch enemy…..there was only one decent baseball club in The Hage and that was Pirates!

Lots of Uitenhage families were involved – Samuels, Wates, Krain, Snyman, Michaelides, Serrao – these are some of the names I remember – if you can think of any others, include them in the comments section please.  Did the Transell’s play for Red Sox?  Can’t remember, but I think so.

In the early to mid 1960’s I can remember going to baseball games with my Dad and Mom…this was before my baby sister arrived.  My Dad played baseball for years and I can remember watching baseball games all around the Eastern Cape.  I can also remember my Dad lost his two front teeth after being hit in the face with a baseball!  My Mom was not impressed but I remember my Dad still finished the game!

Once my Dad retired from playing baseball, he umpired, so for many more years, baseball was still a regular part of our weekend lives.  After my sister arrived, it was my Dad and I that continued the baseball tradition.  My Mom stayed at home with the baby…in fact I don’t remember my sister being at baseball games ever, even when she was a toddler.  Come to think of it, she was so naughty I don’t think my Mom could risk taking her to baseball.

In the 1970’s I can remember helping my Godmother Aunty Elaine, in the tuckshop at the Pirates field which was perfectly positioned behind the home plate.  We had a perfect view of all the balls that were pitched, a perfect view down to first base and a perfect view of who crossed the home plate .  My Godmother used to get so cross with the umpires if she thought they called the balls pitched incorrectly or if they gave our players out when she thought they were “safe” and “let them have it” in no uncertain terms.  I often wondered why she was not an umpire as in my eyes she seemed to know everything about baseball.

In the tuck shop we sold homemade ham rolls that I loved, sausage rolls, maybe two or three soft drink varieties, tea and coffee plus a few different lollies or sweets and packets of crisps.  Somehow the ham tasted different in those days and there was definitely butter on the beautiful soft bread roll (which most probably came from Flamingo or Ramona – if you are from The Hage then you will definitely know about the beautiful bread from Flamingo and the world famous sausage rolls from the Ramona!).  The ham rolls had mustard and lettuce on them too and all these years later, I can still taste them!

I wonder if baseball is still played in The Hage and if Pirates still exists?  If anybody knows, please leave a comment.