When I was a kid and had a cough, I usually sucked on Smith Brothers cough drops because, well, that’s what you did in those days.
I don’t know if the Smith brothers had any sisters but, if even if they didn’t, they might have distant relatives on Free State High’s softball team. The Firebirds have four Smiths, and only two of them are related.
Juniors Megan Smith, the No. 1 pitcher, and Emily Smith, who usually serves as the designated player, are twin sisters. But they’re fraternal, not identical, twins and are not related to senior third baseman Lexi Smith or freshman pitcher Maryanne Smith.
Once you know which Smith is which, you’re pretty much home free.
Fortunately, there are no identical twins among the four Smiths because I’m vexed by the Hulls, senior teammates of all those Smiths on Free State’s softball team. Talk about identical. Rosie and Maggie Hull are classic peas in a pod.
Following a doubleheader the other day, I approached Rosie and Maggie Hull as they were leaving the ballyard. They were together, of course. They’re always together.
A night earlier, I had seen the Hulls at a Lawrence High baseball game, which, of course, surprised me because you don’t often see Free State students at an LHS event unless the two city schools are playing each other.
Why were they there? As it turns out, one of the twins — I’m pretty sure it’s Rosie — is dating Aaron Rea, the Lions’ shortstop, and since the Hulls do everything together, they both went to the LHS game.
But I’m digressing. Back to the postgame session between yours truly, the grizzled sports writer, and the two pixie-ish teens.
As I opened my notebook and asked if they would mind answering a couple of questions, one of the Hulls countered with a question of her own. Did I know which was which. Gulp. Er, um, uh … immediately, I wished Free State’s softball players wore a small number on the front of their jerseys because I know Rosie wears No. 7 and Maggie No. 3.
So there I was, glancing back and forth between the two grinning girls and figuring I had at least a 50-50 chance, the same as if I flipped a coin.
After a few seconds of pondering, I bit the bullet, made up my mind, looked at the one on the left and piped up, “You’re Rosie.”
Omigosh! I was right! Hooray! It wasn’t like I had won the Powerball, but I was mighty proud of myself because I had made an educated guess and had been correct.
By educated guess, I mean I made the pick based on the two or three times I’ve talked to the Hulls. In those confabs, I had sensed that Rosie was slightly — very slightly — more outgoing than Maggie.
To tell the truth, there really isn’t much of a difference because both the Hulls are epitomes of ebullience. I’ll bet I could walk the halls of Free State High for hours and never find anyone who could remember when they had seen the Hulls sans smiles.
Now that I’ve categorized Rosie and Maggie, I’m worried they’ll be tempted to turn the tables on me during their home finale Thursday. It sure wouldn’t be hard to pull a fast one.
All Rosie would have to do is go mum while Maggie mimicked a magpie. That would fool me, no doubt. But the Hulls wouldn’t do that. Surely not.