Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Time again for this old hack to play ball

There was a point between wanting to be a comedian and wanting to be a veterinarian that I actually wanted to be a basketball player when I grew up.

Then, as now, I wasn't very smart. But even I was smart enough to know a not-quite-6-foot Jewish kid with the speed of a plow horse and the leaping ability of a sumo wrestler probably wasn't going to be able to hang with the likes of Bob McAdoo and Jamaal Wilkes.

So I gave up on that dream -- and, soon enough, would give up on the idea of being a veterinarian when I discovered to my horror that I'd actually have to take science and math while going to college for something like eleventy-zillion years -- to become a writer.

No regrets ... but that doesn't mean I'm still not a wannabe jock. And these days, that means doing the few active things I can do and hopefully not get maimed in the process.

That was a long introduction to say this:

It's softball time again!

Yes, for the second straight year, I'm playing in the Charlotte Senior Sports softball league. The season just started but already I've seen my share of excitement. Believe it or not, the Sons of Pitches actually traded for me a couple of weeks before the opener. Hey, if Babe Ruth, Nolan Ryan and Jeff Bagwell weren't too good to be traded, neither was I!

Our manager, Pat, and his first-round draft choice, Tom, were major contributors on my championship team from last year and decided they wanted me as a teammate again.

For comic relief, I assume.

In reality, I'm pretty sure Pat acquired me because he and I had been among the only folks who regularly went out for a beer after games last season. I'm an OK ballplayer who is willing to play anywhere the manager wants, and I'm a team-first chatterbox who makes wise cracks to keep everybody loose, but really, all Pat wanted was his drinking buddy back.

So anyway, we played our first game of the season Tuesday. It was a back-and-forth affair that we lost 19-18 in the final inning. I played catcher and batted 10th, both of which were absolutely fine by me. A lot of people don't like catching, but I think it's fun to handle the ball on every play and maybe be on the receiving end of a huge play that can decide a game. As for where I bat in the lineup, I'd be worried about my team if I was placed too high in the order.

I was fine at the plate, with two singles, a walk and three runs. As one might guess looking at the score, we had several players who did as well or better than I did. We struggled some in the field, though, which will happen in a season opener. The other team didn't exactly flash a bunch of Gold Gloves, either.

Aside from the final result, it was a fun night -- even if I had to disappoint Pat and opt out of postgame libations. I've been battling a cold and I decided that NyQuil, not Stella Artois, should provide my alcohol for the evening.

Hopefully, next week will be a different story, both on the scoreboard and afterward.

1 comment:

  1. My daughter played softball her whole life and was a catcher in h.s. and college. You described exactly why she loved playing that position - in charge, always in on every play, seeing what's happening in front of you all the time. She still plays as an adult and so does my son (who played Div I in college) but of course, he's more serious about it than most of the guys on his team. Wish my husband could but knee replacements aren't conducive to playing as hard as he likes to play and he doesn't like beer. Haha. Glad you are playing again.....have fun!