|The Finney's New Yorkers|
The booth was the place to be. It was where all the action started. The booth is where the lineups, the stats, the game times, the corny jokes, the raunchy jokes and every other type of joke in between was. It was much more than an announcing booth. It was a clubhouse, a locker room, a saloon, and a comedy club all rolled into one. One time it was even a flophouse.
Yes, that’s right, a flophouse. This tale first appeared in my book, “Some Kenosha Softball”, but it deserves to be retold.
I remember a group of ladies from the Finney's New Yorkers softball team that used a donut as an alarm clock. It happened very early on a Sunday morning during the Women's Marathon Tournament at historic Finney's West. The annual event began on Saturday morning with games being played non-stop through the night, and the championship game taking place sometime on Sunday afternoon. At the time, Leon Rosko was the owner/operator of Finney's West and as usual, and was hard at it. He had been busy doing all the things necessary for the tournament to run smoothly. He had set the schedule, ordered the trophies, lined up the umpires, dragged and chalked the fields and stocked all of the coolers.
You get the picture. If there was something that needed to be done, chances are Rosko did it or was in the process of doing it. Plus you have to factor into the equation that this was a marathon tournament and he had no sleep since arriving just as the sun had come up Saturday morning. Now it was early Sunday morning. With everything running like clockwork, an exhausted Rosko attempted to take a well-deserved "break" on the floor of the announcer's booth. He pushed the box of used softballs out of the way, grabbed an old glove from the lost ‘n’ found for a pillow and started his nap.
He had barely started to snore when the New Yorkers entered the booth, armed with a box of Dunkin' Donuts. They asked me where Leon was. I put my finger to my lips and gestured to the sleeping figure on the floor behind me.
Whispering softly, they explained that they had brought the box of donuts to give to Leon in appreciation for all of his hard work. Despite my rather feeble efforts to stop the New Yorkers, they decided Mr. Rosko had rested long enough and proceeded to attempt to wake him to give him his gift.
Calling his name didn't work, neither did tickling his ear. When poking and prodding Rosko had absolutely no results, the ladies proceeded to wave one of the warm, sugary delights under his nose. That did it! Needless to say, Rosko's snooze was now over and breakfast was served to the appreciative, albeit bleary-eyed, owner/operator.
I would be lying if I said that I remembered what place the Finney’s New Yorkers finished in the tournament. However, I do remember that this group of young ladies did indeed use a donut as an alarm clock. It was definitely a first at historic Finney’s West and most likely anywhere else for that matter.
Until next time…from the booth.