There was no turnstile, no concessions, no scoreboard, no grandstand, no loudspeaker. And there was no lineup announcement at the game Thursday evening at Wheaton Regional Park, only the umpire calling for the on-deck batter to "Come in the house."
Seven innings later, after Frank Frager had delivered the pitch that ended the game, there were handshakes all around.
Another Montgomery County Baseball Association game, this one among Majors players, was in the score book. Another game, like the thousands played each night in amateur leagues across the country, that would gain the attention only of its players, the youngest of them 19, and the handful of shirt-sleeved fans in the bleachers, five rows high.
There would be no box score in the morning paper.
It was, after all, a casual affair between two teams sponsored by the wholesale produce dealer in Bethesda, Battista's won, 7-1, thanks largely to the hitting of several George Washington University-trained players.
Their participation in the summer league is a way of staying finely tuned for the college season. Attracting notice from professional scouts is not the intention. Everyone in Majors ball understands that scouts look instead at the area's Industrial League, considered one of the toughest amateur leagues in the east.
Majors play 21 games over two months. Some play twice as many games by joining a second league, a common practice that has players rushing between local ballparks to make two games in a single evening.
Battista's, dressed in pin-striped pants and caps with Ps (someone's mistake), almost had to forfeit Thursday's contest because they were one man short a few minutes before game time.
"I like to keep a small roster," said Ross Natoli, the second baseman who doubles as the team manager. "But sometimes guys don't show. You have to count on that."
Natoli, formerly a Churchill High School and GW star, now GW's assistant coach, went to call Dan Venable, who indeed, hadn't planned to show. Venable arrived in time, switched into someone else's handy "Battista's -- Quality Since 1929" jersey, and announced that he wasn't going to play shortstop.
He went to right field.
Marc Heyison, normally the third baseman, was assigned to short. Steve Lake took third; Kenny Lake, Steve's older brother covered first.
"Lake to Lake," said their mother, Benita Lake, marking the play in her scorebook when her sons completed a 5-3 putout.
Baseball, traditionally a family game, is not usually a family event for Majors. More girlfriends than parents watch the games. Yet girlfriends sometimes change with the seasons, making Mrs. Lake Battista's steadiest fan.
She also is the team's loudest fan, a woman who says, "Dear God, yes!" when asked if she sees all her sons' games. Homemade seat cushions for her and her husband, and a thermos of iced tea, are standard take-along items to the county's barren ball fields.
"My boys eat and sleep this baseball," she said. "I guess I'm right in there with them. Sometimes I get so sick, because it's games night after night. It's rush, rush, rush all the time. You grab supper when you can."
Unlike the Battista's players, who hand off scorekeeping duties to whomever among them will do it, Lake loves to keep track of strikes and balls for herself.
"The only thing is that I'm never really sure about errors," she said. "I always have trouble with that, so I put a small question mark in the box. Then when I get home, the boys go over the book and say, 'Oh, Mom, that was a hit,' See?"
Thursday's ball game went as ball games go, leisurely, sometimes without a change in the score for as much as 20 minutes. Battista's was ahead, 4-1, after the first inning. Two more runs came in the second, another in the third, and Battista's had its sixth win of the summer.
"That's what's nice about baseball," Benita Lake said. "You have to keep the rally going because you can't tell when the other team will come back."