Wowww! You lived back when only one kid in your whole
neighbourhood had a baseball/football, whatever??? You must be really, really old. Like pre-WW2 old, because in my not particularly affluent public school years beginning in 1951, I was the only one who didn't have a baseball. I had a glove, but no baseball. Mostly I used an India rubber ball which was heavy, the size of a base ball, bounced really well and drove my mother crazy bouncing off the end wall of our house. Qr we played at recess, same thing, one guy bouncing it off the gym wall and half a dozen kids trying to catch it. (Yes, if it means anything, by 2nd grade I was in a brand new brick school which had a gym/auditorium. It was a big improvement over the frame and clapboard building I started school in.) Catch it on the fly, you get to be the guy who throws it. The object was to put a spin on it so it came off the wall in an unexpected direction so you got to throw again.
You don't have to develop a blind eye or a deaf ear, James. You already have them. that's why you espouse the views you do. You're so out of touch it must be like floating on a cloud.
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