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Play Ball!

May 14, 2014



The wind was light but present as the sun was breaking through the morning clouds.  The bases fully loaded.  Two had already walked, the last batter hitting to first.  This next hit should be a breeze.  I could visualize the ball slow motion, connecting perfectly with the bat and sailing out over the fence.  Both dugouts fell silent as time seemed to slow down.  A bead of sweat trailed my forehead to my chin.  It was my move.  My time to shine.  Only one problem remained.  I was the pitcher..

With hockey winding down to the occasionally rare summer call out, it was time to hang the pads and dust off the old ball glove.  However, contrary to popular belief, I’m horrible at softball.  Sure it may seem like I have an athletically sound greek hockey-god body, but it’s mainly been used to drink beer, inhale tobacco and sleep in on weekends.  In short, I live the life of an asshole.  At least I’m not cocky.

This past weekend was the opening season tournament, and our brand new team hit the field ready and raring for action.  We didn’t expect to do great, or even to win for that matter.  All we expected was to figure out our place on the field and maybe contract a minor hangover in the morning.  One out of those two happened.  Surprisingly, it wasn’t the hangover.

Keeping in mind I did play two years prior for one season, and that team stuck me as pitcher because I was roving as a right fielder, it was apparent I would step up to the mound this year as well due to my uncanny ability to stay within 10 feet of the mound at all times.  Oh, and I can throw, too.  The rest of the team found their spots quickly and things began to fall into place.

Throughout the tournament we calculated that a beer-to-performance ratio was directly proportional, and by the end of Saturday we managed to crush a team 17-6.  My one and only lucky play involved diving and intercepting a ground bouncing hit, throwing it to first to make the out the whilst I fell over backwards.  Now, to put this into proper perspective, the field we played on looked a little something like this… LS_Beerleague-baseball

However, to me in that moment, the field felt a little something like this.. PNC_baseball_park-HD

Pure, inefficient, effective luck on that play did not hinder me in the slightest from popping up off the ground screaming “I’M AMAZING” while jaunting back to the dugout.  All of a sudden I began to love baseball.  I began wearing my hat backwards and leaving my aviators on during innings.  I even started walking out to the pitchers mound in faux slow motion between innings until I got yelled at.  And as the weekend progressed without me coming close to playing as well as I did during that game, I kept reliving that moment for the duration of the tournament.  And reminding my teammates how cool I am.

By the end of the weekend I was sore, horribly sunburnt and exhausted.  My tongue was sore from an excess of sunflower seeds, and I’m very sure I packed on at least 5 pounds from consumables such as beer and ball park hotdogs.  Unlike hockey, slow pitch baseball may be the only sport I’ve ever played that will wind up putting me in worse shape by the end of the season than I was in when I registered.  And I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

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