7 for 7: A League NOT Their Own

A League NOT Their Own, The Buckettes and the Greatest Game Never Played

The great game of Tapey Beercone has a rich history. It began with school boys who, after completing their studies only just this side of honestly, needed a way to fill their day. As no sporting equipment was available to them, their ingenuity led them to a stick in place of a bat and a pinecone serving as a ball. Thus Piney Pinecone was born. Just as everything else, what is born must also grow. As the young men grew so did the game.

Piney Pinecone. Gone but not forgotten.

The young men, now dubbed The Buckos, maintained their friendships and their times together. While on a Buckos camping trip the same dazzling intellect that allowed them to cram a week’s worth of school work into two days leading to the Piney Pinecone phenomenon continued to serve them well. While on this trip there was a great (drunken) desire to play this favorite game though the terrain did not provide them with the required pine cones. Not ones to be discouraged, their resourceful natures kicked in and substitutes were quickly located. As there were a handful of empty beer cans available, a pinecone was fashioned out of three of these crushed cans lashed together with duct tape. A stick was replaced with an ax handle. With these changes Piney Pinecone made way to the now infamous Tapey Beercone.

The Buckos continued their adventures as well as their involvement in the game. Tapey Beercone soon evolved from a boyhood game with a stick and a pinecone to an elaborate sport with intricate procedures, world class statistics, and years of fine tuning. Tapey Beercone was, and always had been, a Gentlemen’s Past Time.

Some of the gentlemen, playing the gentlemen’s game.

Though, just as Piney Pinecone grew from a boyhood fancy to a gentlemen’s affair, the boys also grew into gentlemen. This growth, as it usually does, meant ladies began to enter the Bucko’s lives and, to some’s surprise, stayed. A few choice ladies were in it for the long haul even earning themselves the title of “Buckettes.” These ladies were involved in many aspects of Bucko’s adventures and traditions, but one remained out of their reach- Tapey Beercone.

Until, one day, nearly a half-decade after its birth, Tapey Beercone unrolled the ceremonial duct tape and made way for women on the field. Now, as a Buckette I was not privy to the behind the scenes debates of where, when, or how this event would take place, but, as a Buckette, experience tells me there were likely hours of discussion and debate.

A low lake offered the opportunity for a unique game.

Though the details remain shrouded in mystery, the day arrived when women took to the field- a field dubbed Riparian Hideout at Rattlesnake Bar. California was in the midst of a record drought so the Buckos had scouted out a formidable field which would otherwise be underwater in Folsom Lake. The Quake at the Lake, when women first stepped foot onto the sacred field, took place on New Year’s Day 2014.

The ladies during warm ups before the game.

As with all Tapey Beercone games, Coors Lights were involved. Though alcohol is not allowed at Folsom Lake, we threw caution to the wind and honored the Beercone tradition. Things were progressing nicely. The Buckos prepped the ball, scouted the talent, chose teams and the game began!

An historic swing! (Herstoric? nevermind…)

The ladies were not a disappointment (not so much this Buckette specifically, but in general quite impressive). The newcomers provided some great plays as well. The game was going swimmingly, until a white truck circled above.

Upon realizing it was a park ranger, Coors cans everywhere were guzzled and empties quickly hidden. Unfortunately, those familiar Silver Bullet cans shone too brightly in the sun and the ranger caught wise. We were asked to leave by the ranger who spoke to us about alcohol not being allowed on the lake, all the while her hand resting on her gun- a bit of overkill.

Talk about a party foul…

Sadly, the Quake at the Lake was only a blip on the Richter scale as it was cut short. Although the ladies did not get to play a full first game, many games were in their future. Women have made some remarkable plays, pitched, and even gotten hit in the head. Though the majority of games are traditional male only games, the ladies are happy to join the growing number of co-ed games and contributing to the great game of Tapey Beercone.

Scoring runs and taking cover ever since.

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