As part of the nostalgia tour in my hometown of Grand Forks, N.D., this weekend I took a drive past a small grassy area nestled between two apartment buildings that used to serve as a makeshift baseball field in my youth.

If you have a similar place to revisit in your hometown, I suggest you do this only if you want to feel impossibly old.

The game we played involved a tennis ball, ghost runners, and trees that served as bases. It was aptly called “pitcher, hitter, catcher, fielder,” a game of necessity with only four of us usually available.

I spied the area that used to be considered a home run. It seemed far too close, when it used to seem a mile away. Tall pine trees guarded it. How did we ever hit it over them, I wondered?

And then I remembered: They were barely the size of shrubs 30-35 years ago, and they didn’t stop growing just because I left.

 

Read Michael Rand’s blog at startribune.com/randball. michael.rand@startribune.com.