Playing first base was happy-go-lucky Red, a kid filled with magic who thought life was his circus. Red's hair was so red that you could see it in the dark after he was gone; the glow just hung around for hours. Red was the fastest human we ever saw and most people thought his hair color was the only color that could keep up with him.
Playing second base Deacon walked with a slow steady gate, almost biblical in nature, while surrounded by an aura of poise and composure. He had the self-assurance of a spiritualist. Every great team needs a Deac0n, someone who is the center of gravity and confidence.
Playing short stop Spider moved like he had eight legs. Spider was creative and trusted his teammates to anticipate his every move. He would dart, dash and dive all over the field, throw the ball behind his back, and relay it to anyone who could finish a play he started. It was magic watching him make plays.
Playing leftfield was Jack. Born in Germany in 1946, he arrived in our neighborhood in 1955. He was still learning English and had no baseball skills. But he was big, very big, and relentless too. He was going to become the best baseball player ever and in our group that wasn't going to be easy. Eventually his talent caught up to his ambition and the fun started.
Mickey played centerfield like he could see the future. He was all over centerfield because he was connected to our pitching like he was standing on the pitching mound himself. Mickey didn't realize that becoming an all-star centerfielder meant that he was alone way out there in centerfield.
Problems for me were like the ocean tide. They would come in and they would go out and they kept a steady schedule. When it came to the team I was the one with all the details, like game schedules, transportation, practice times, etc. My position on the team was always secure, you can't get rid of the kid with the details.
Bobbie was a great rightfielder who quietly went about his work like a factory worker. He would punch the time clock, make all the plays needed, punch the time clock and go home. He was great to have around because he was so steady and reliable. Problem with Bobbie was you could never take your eyes off him because he, when we could catch him, was the great practical joker.
We called him Rooster and he was the catcher. Gravity stole some of his height but his bulk got him a lot of respect. Rooster had a lot to do with the flow of the game. He was gentle in nature, but you knew he had another side to him, maybe three or four. If Rooster got mad you knew those cold black eyes could see through you into the future where you didn't exist anymore.
The young one at third base. He was somewhere between fearless and insane. As the years went by and the game got faster and more power came to the plate, Mushy elevated his level of what turned out to be insanity. When the big home run hitters were batting Mushy would suddenly move five or six steps closer to the hitter. He would enter the "dead zone" where third basemen go to die.