Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The dog days of August are here, but at Chilmark Sunday softball they bring only cheer. The play gets crisper as the Chilmark canines do their tricks in muggy summer. Imagine! The first shutout in over 10 years — pitched by Joel Bleier. Six to zip. Then in the next Will Eager and his father dominated. Will (he’s off to Harvard next year) covers the outfield like a greyhound, while the senior bulldog Ed hit the longest home run ever recorded at Peaked Hill stadium. It cleared the road in right field. I understand they’re still looking for the ball to put in Chilmark’s hall of fame.

Chilmark has always been blessed with Rabbi umpires — starting with Rabbis Wice and Brickner. But the first female rabbi showed up last week in pink shorts. Not only did Zoe Van Raan call balls and strikes and play a spectacular second base, but wowed the crowd with her glamorous batting stance. It almost makes a believer out of me.

Young dogs are usually tied up so they won’t roam the outfield. One got loose from his leash after the singing of the National Anthem in the seventh inning. He grabbed the loose ball and it took nine men to catch him out in Chilmark’s green monster (the poison ivy path in left field). That didn’t stop Arlan’s Airdales from coming back from an eight-run deficit and almost winning the game. Three barks too for those young girls who served that delicious lemonade on a hot day.

Did I tell you August 31 is the last game of the season? Until Labor Day then, let’s cherish these last dog days of summer with more Sunday softball, female umpires, sweet lemonade and the big home run. After that — we must put on our dog leashes once again. Enjoy.

Bill Edison