On Friday, an announcement was made that rocked the sporting world to its very core. A proclamation that had people rioting in the streets in some towns where folks had a little too much time on their hands prior to the long Labor Day weekend.
After a nearly 14-year long hiatus, one of the worst, nay THE worst baseball/softball player of all time would be returning to the field in the comeback attempt that literally no one asked for and most would have preferred to avoid.
Myself. Me. I.
That’s right, on Friday, I decided to pick up my glove, place it back on my head, which is where it goes if I remember my time in little league correctly and join my company softball team.
I’ve had a powerful and wholly inexplicable hankering to get back out on the diamond in recent weeks. Part of it may stem from seeing my girlfriend coach a grade school girls softball team this past spring. Part of it may stem from seeing her play in a league of her own like two summers ago.
So I can’t say with any level of certainty what’s driven me to this state, but I do know that even though I’ve been traditionally an at-best Hiroshima-scale disaster of a ball player, I’ve always enjoyed the idea of playing the game.
Running around outside in nice weather. Throwing the old ball around. Swinging a bat. Munching sunflower seeds. What’s not to love?
Just when it comes to physically trying to do those things, the wheels tend to come flying off in a spectacular display of sheer ineptitude and failure the likes of which hasn’t been seen since Judas’ ill-advised April Fool’s prank on the big J.C. all those years ago.
My last time on an organized baseball/softball team – and for the purposes of this entry, I’m just going to go ahead and treat those two sports like they’re the same thing – came in the Spring of my 7th grade year. Or as I noted earlier, about 14 years ago.
By then, I’d managed to suppress my natural urge to wear my glove on my head, but it hadn’t made me any better of a ball player.
I was relegated to left field (Editor's note: I now realize I was playing right field that whole time, a good indication of my mental state/awareness during that era), which is where the coaches had correctly deduced I’d be able to do the least amount of damage. I don’t remember catching any balls that year, but if one rolled slowly my way, I did almost always manage to pick it up on the very first try.
That uninspiring defensive effort was trumped only by my legendary lack of success at the plate. I reached base exactly two times that season. Literally every other plate appearance was a strike out or ground out.