The boxball king
If it was night, really night, not just after supper and you were hanging out, chances were you'd be with Koz. Reason was that Koz's folks let him stay out late, even on weeknights. Most kids would have wasted their time, but not Koz. He was determined to use it wisely, and constantly practiced what today would be called "stupid ball tricks."
Koz was only OK at regular sports, but he was the undisputed ace of box baseball. He learned the subleties of the rubber ball and could make it fast spin, dead stop and curve out. He had a special name for each pitch and would brag about being unhittable.
It was bad enough getting beat, but constantly hearing about the technique was just too much. It became obvious that the best approach was to get him really frustrated. We challenged the legality of each pitch and disputed just about anything resembling a close call. Nothing like a conspiracy of your friends all ganging up on you to put you in good spirits.
Koz still ended up winning lots of the games, but we had loads of fun getting him riled.
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