Team |1|2|3|4|5|6|7 Total HT |3|2|3|1|0|?|0 12* TPR |0|0|1|3|4|1|2 11
Of all the great rivalries in magazine softball, none is as heated as the annual High Times–TPR soiree. The Bonghitters, as they like to be called, are a formidable force despite their propensity for a very unathletic activity. (“We had a 29-game undefeated streak in the early 2000s,” former editor in chief Steve Bloom once boasted to The New York Times.) The Parisians rallied as best they could; two of our stronger players—Chris “Art of Fielding” Parris-Lamb and Paul “The Fixer” Wachter—removed their ties and dusted off their gloves for the game. There was some huffing (a few words at second base, a few elbows in the baselines), some puffing (a spirited rules discussion, an almost-spirited bench-clearing brawl), and when the dust cleared they had (just barely) blown our house down.
Things we know for certain: we scored eleven runs. Things we don’t know for certain: they scored twelve. Like in Rashomon, it depends on who you ask. Yes, we succumbed to eviler forces when we let stand a phantom run they claimed crossed in the sixth, but, really, it just felt like the right thing to do.
This is not to say we didn’t go down swinging—au contraire! Down by eight runs early, we did our best Dallas Mavericks impression to claw our way back to within one run of a tie. Then, in the sixth, our confidence faltered. A throwing error (by yours truly) and some timely Times hitting extended their lead to three, which is where it would sit until the final frame. A two-run homer by Jim “Big Tree” Rutman (his second of the day) briefly buoyed our spirits, but ultimately that was the closest we’d get to salvation.
Although we lost, we’re not all sad. Three cheers for the Big Tree, whose two home runs collectively had enough juice to make it to Brooklyn. Two more cheers go out to our captain, Stephen “Andrew” Hiltner, for his fancy base running and his even fancier mitt. And we might as well throw in another one for the needed lesson in humility. It’s a long, long season—better to stay grounded. Until next year, High Times.