Time To Put Baxter Out To Pasture?

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With the mega-merger involving Bank One and Chase banks, Bank One Ballpark -- the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks -- is about to get a new name.

Does that also mean that the annoying Diamondbacks mascot "D. Baxter, the BOBcat" will also get a new name and a fresh look?

Let's hope so.

There's way too much resemblance between BOBcat and that other cat that resides in Tucson.

I love the Diamondbacks but seeing BOBcat stirs a distaste in me that is only equaled by spying Wilbur prowling the sidelines of a football or basketball game.

Yep, it's time to do away with BOBcat and select a new mascot.

Maybe one that's a little Devilish.

Amphi in Pine

For the past 18 years, my wife Kay and I have hosted the Tucson Amphitheater's high school boys basketball team into our Pine home for the weekend.

The Amphi coach, Pat Derksen, has been my friend for more than 30 years.

While in the Rim country, the Panther team participates in the Payson summer basketball tournament.

Following Amphi's two games today (Friday), the coaches and players will retire to our home for the traditional hot dog and hamburger cook out.

The players bring along their sleeping bags and usually find a comfortable place either in the family living room, on the deck or in the back yard to bed down. In all those years, there have never been any type of problems with our guests. They have always been courteous and respectful.

But the visits have supplied plenty of fond memories. Most recollections involve our traditional Friday night Snipe hunt into the wilds of Pine Canyon near our home.

I'm told that on the school's Tucson campus, the Snipe hunts are legendary.

The older players, ones who have been to our home, know the Snipe hunts well. The freshmen and younger players know only what is told to them by coaches, me and some teammates.

Several years ago Amphi had a 6-foot, 9-inch, 250-pound African-American hoop star on its team who appeared he could go bear hunting with a twig.

About midnight on his first Snipe hunt, the teen found himself all alone in a Pine creek canyon looking for Snipes and armed only with a pillow case (to catch the Snipes).

I remember, there was very little moonlight and the wind whistled through the canyon's towering ponderosas.

Coach Derksen and I huddled behind a cluster of trees where we could hear the freshman but not see him.

Unable to see us or any of his teammates, the freshman's beckoning calls of "here Snipe, here Snipe," soon turned to "I don't think my mommy wants me to be here...my mommy said for me to come home right now. Coaches you hear me? My mommy wants me home tonight."

Tonight (Friday), there's another Snipe hunt on the Amphi agenda.

It oughta be fun.

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