Archive for Wednesday, July 10, 2002

At the ol’ ball game(s)

Couple’s summer full cheering on 10 grandchildren in baseball and softball

July 10, 2002

Officials at Wrigley Field in Chicago probably wouldn't want to invite Bob and Carol Jacobs to sing the seventh-inning stretch.

It's not that the Jacobs wouldn't do a fine job, but the Tonganoxie couple would have to belt out about nine verses to do justice to their own situation.

With 10 grandchildren playing softball or baseball this summer, the Jacobs try to attend their grandchildren's games. Only two grandchildren, Angela and Tiffany Jacobs, are on the same team, so scheduling can be difficult sometimes.

"Everybody's trying to do a lot of running around and you can't always get there," Bob said.

Along with Angela and Tiffany, Dallas and Dylan Jacobs play K-ball, while Heather and Courtney Jacobs played on T-ball teams. Step-grandchildren Jeffrey and Cody Simms play on junior and intermediate teams respectively, while Ashley Simms competes on the midget level. Finally, Brandi Jacobs plays in the Johnson County Softball League for 14-year-olds on Wednesdays.

The grandparents planned on attending one of her games for the first time this season last Wednesday, but the game was rained out.

It sounds like a scratched CD, but the Jacobs attend games again and again and again. Sunday is the couple's off day, as no games are scheduled. Saturday mornings are now open, too, because the T-ball season has wrapped up.

The Jacobs now have five days per week in which to attend games, and they bring the same equipment to each game. Both have lawn chairs and Carol grabs a large mug full of water, although the Jacobs sometimes opt for the bleachers, depending on the conditions.

"We started getting a bunch of chiggers, so we sat in the bleachers," Bob said.

The schedule gets hectic and the Jacobs can't make all of their grandchildren's games, especially if one plays in Tonganoxie and another in Basehor.

"Some nights you'll go to one at 6 and then one at 7:30 and one at 8:30," Bob said. "A lot of times we just make that second one."

The Jacobs are no strangers to the games of summer. Bob, along with Chuck Clark, established Tonganoxie's first American Legion team about 30 years ago. The local Legion post couldn't afford uniforms for the team, but was able to donate patches for the team. However, Merle Tice's insurance company supplied the uniforms, and the team was born.

Bob said Clark, who is now deceased, worked extremely hard with the American Legion team.

Now, Bob, who was also on the Tonganoxie Recreation Commission's first committee, works overtime cheering on his grandchildren.

"They say I'm the mouth," Bob said. "I'm still coaching."

Carol does her share of yelling as well, but she would appreciate it if the recent heat wave would lose its intensity.

"Dying at the ballpark is the term, in the heat," Carol said. "We've enjoyed it until these last few weeks when it's been so hot.

"I did take an umbrella, but my son was afraid I was going to poke his eyes out."

Bob expects to be attending games often again next year. All of the grandchildren simply will be moving up a division, so the couple would be watching games most days next summer.

For now, the Jacobs will focus on the last week of the season and an even busier time tournaments.

As they've done before, the grandparents will attend as many games as they can.

"We have really enjoyed watching the kids," Carol said. "They're happy to see you there."

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