The best times with my father were during baseball games at Seals Stadium in San Francisco in the late 1940s and early 1950s. We had great seats at ground level between home plate and the Seals’ third-base dugout.
Ransom’s interest in baseball consisted of staring through the bottom of an empty Coke bottle at fans in the stands. Mom feared he might receive another concussion.
“Keep your eyes on the ball,’ she said.
He turned around and focused his Coke bottle on the field.
Daddy’s strange pencil marks in the little squares in the program intrigued me. “What do those mean?”
“That’s how I keep score,” he said.
During the season, he taught me how to keep score and make those strange squiggles in the little squares. “Anyone can follow a football game,” he said. “Baseball is a thinking man’s game.”
Our box seats at Seals Stadium were near those of the club’s vice president, young Charlie Graham. One night, he said that because I attended every game, I might as well work there. Would I like to be an usherette? Well, who wouldn’t? But when Mr. Graham learned I was much younger than I looked, I had to wait another year to obtain a work permit before he hired me.
Seals Stadium was the first baseball park in the country to hire female ushers. We wore a gray blouse under a couturier-designed apple-green gabardine suit with a matching beret. For San Francisco’s fog-chilled night games, we added a brown topcoat with red epaulets, a red silk scarf and red kid gloves. I earned $1.25 an hour.
To be continued . . .