The Eskimo Brothers aren't exactly "official" when they take the softball field.
Donning olive green T-shirts with no numbers and bright yellow lettering, mix-matched gym shorts and an array of baseball hats, the Columbia Amateur Softball Association team doesn't care so much about its 1-9 record or looking professional.
“Ninety percent of the time, we’re yelling at the other team for wearing baseball pants,” utility player Dan Thorne said. “The only game we won this season was when three of us were out of town for a bachelor party. We got the call and started celebrating.”
While they didn't win Friday night against the Tiger Club Sluggers at Cosmopolitan Park, they scored more runs in a 12-10 loss than they have scored all season. And they had fun — one of their main goals.
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The Eskimo Brothers' brotherhood goes back more than a decade — some of them even longer — and while they've only been playing a few years, Friday nights in the summer offers them a chance to enjoy the game, even if they're losing.
In a dugout full of beer, Gatorade and cigarettes, each player was welcomed with camaraderie as he returned from the field, even when the opposing team got a run. After player Tom Kokoska struck out, one player shouted “Tom, we thought you were gonna hit the ball!”
“I thought about it,” Kokoska said laughing.
Fans watched excitedly as the team tied the game at 10 before ultimately losing. After coming so close to a win "superfan" Shawn Marin spoke with optimism.
"One run is better than none," he said.
And on this night, coming close was all the Eskimo Brother's needed to celebrate.
As they shook hands with the other team and headed off field, Thorne rallied the troops one last time.
"All right!" he shouted. "Let’s party!”
Supervising editor is Matt Veto