Updated: Sep 15, 2021
Word of the day: Punk
1. A usually petty gangster, hoodlum or ruffian.
Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Punk. In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary. Retrieved September 7, 2021, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/punk
You know the popular cinematic story: A group of unexperienced individuals ban together, usually in a team of some sort, in an effort to squash an experienced competition, and through the power of teamwork and determination they do the unexpected and ring victorious. There's also almost always a guy who gets the girl at the end of those movies, but that's besides the point. The point being: this plot is currently playing out in Hot Springs.
Allow me to introduce you to Hot Springs' very own Punk Rock Baseball League.
In early June the already-established Little Rock Punk Rock Baseball League reached out to Hot Springs in hopes they would be able to form a team to give them some competition. With no prior practice, about 12 Hot Springians came together and travelled to Little Rock to play a game, and to everyone's surprise Hot Springs won.
Little Rock will now be coming to rematch the growing Hot Springs league at noon this Sunday at Whittington Baseball Park, and the community is invited to what may be unlike any baseball game you've ever experienced.
Hot Springs Punk Rock player Rob Cox said attendees should expect "a lot of non-athletes try to play baseball."
"We go by the basic rules of baseball, but you know there's no walks or no stealing or stuff, it's just for everybody to have a good time," Cox said. "... We're all in it for each other, and it's mainly about community and, if anybody wants to play we don't turn them down, so it's about us getting together and having a good time."
"None of us are great," he said, "but none of us are terrible, and it's just about having fun."
Hot Springs Punk Rock player Alexis Hampo said the best way to describe their league is "just a ragtag group of folks."
"It's some people who have played little league when they were younger, some people who have been on softball teams in the area before and some people who have actually never played baseball in their entire lives, which is the boat that I kind of am in," Hampo said, noting that it all comes together to make punk rock baseball.
"There's going to be food, we're gonna play baseball, it's gonna be hot, but you know sweat it out with us," she said. "It's a good group of a little bit of everybody, so come on out and cheer on your Hot Springs team."
And Hampo's message to the Little Rock team?
"It wasn't a fluke that we won the first time, and it's going to happen again, but on our home turf."
Hot Springs's Punk Rock Baseball league, now known as the Flaming Majestics, win Sunday's game against Little Rock's league, 11-5, at Whittington Baseball Park.