Sideline Slants

As we mature, a.k.a. getting older, people frequently say, “Times have sure changed. Whatever happened to the good old days?”

In reality, the “good old days” weren’t always that good. However, when it comes to listening to a baseball game on radio, times certainly have changed.

In the good old days when you turned on the radio, you heard a baseball game. Today it’s hard to tell if you’re listening to a baseball game or the Home Shopping Network.

Don’t be surprised if in another five years a baseball game on radio sounds like this….

“Hello, everyone, and good evening from Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. Tonight’s game is brought to you by All-Star Baseball Camps. If you want your children to become all stars, enroll them today in All-Star Baseball Camps.

“Here are the starting lineups for tonight’s game, brought to you by Never Fail Batteries. Don’t take a chance on a second-rate battery. Buy a battery you can trust. You can always count on Never Fail Batteries to start your car or truck.

“Here are tonight’s umpires. The umpires don’t need glasses, they need LASIK surgery from Perfect Vision Eye Clinic.

“Here’s the first pitch. The batter grounds the ball weakly to short. The shortstop scoops it up and fires to first for out number one. Speaking of weekly, that’s how often you get the Hillsboro Free Press. Get the scoop on all the news, sports and community news in Marion County. Read the Free Press.

“Wait a minute. The manager is protesting the call, but he appears to be losing the argument. Boy, he could have used the help of the Never Say Die Legal Services. Don’t give in. Find a way to win with Never Say Die Legal Services.

“The next batter hits a fly ball to deep center field. The center fielder is there and squeezes it for out number two. The next time you’re in a financial squeeze, contact your financial adviser at I’m in Trouble Financial Services. Call them at 947-TROUBLE or visit their Web site at

“The outfielder is replacing a divot in the outfield grass. That reminds me. When you want your lawn looking its best, contact the lawn experts at the Green Lawn Center.

“The next batter hits a line drive at the second baseman for out number three. The Royals mowed them down 1-2-3. When you’re ready to mow, make sure you’re using a mower from the Yard Store.

“Any pitcher who throws a no-hitter will receive a plaque from the Marion County public schools, which have a zero-tolerance policy for classroom violence.

“The Royals are up to bat…. There’s a drive to deep left field for a home run. This tape-measure home run was brought to you by Lifeline long distance service. With a Lifeline telephone calling card, you can keep your long-distance charges below the salary of the average home-run hitter.

“The next batter swings and hits a foul ball. Get all manner of fairly tasty fowls at Kentucky Fried Chicken.”

By now you get the idea. Here are some other sponsorships that could be mentioned at the appropriate time.

“That squeeze play was brought to you by Charmin, the squeezably soft tissue.”

“That clutch base hit was brought to you by Gearhead’s Transmission Shop.”

“The next batter has laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt. When it comes to finances, your area Marion County churches encourage you to give sacrificially.”

“There was a perfectly executed hit-and-run play. Ed has opened a Midwestern branch of his Stuckeyville Bowl and Legal Services. Ed’s Car Care and Legal Services will cope with all your hit-and-run needs in one fell swoop.”

“The manager is making a pitching change. The new relief pitcher is brought to you by the Mid-Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale.”

“If he can get the final three outs, the relief pitcher will have earned a save. This save situation is brought to you by Union Gospel Mission.”

“This game is taking longer than a track meet. The Hillsboro High School track team offers more running, jumping and throwing at a price you can afford.”

“The Royals have lost again. Mennonite Disaster Service is poised and ready to respond when the losing streak reaches 10 games. Call 1-800-VOLUNTR.”

Finally, in the unlikely event of a perfect game the announcer could say, “This perfect game was brought to you by Joe’s Sideline Slants. Need we say more?”

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