Those beer league blues

Here’s a truth: You cannot expect to come into a softball game after seven years of not swinging a bat once and expect your play to be anything close to Cal Ripken Jr.
Even if the game is part of the Friday night beer league.
I cannot move without pain.
Holy shit.
Yes, I warmed up. I even put two bucks into the batting cage – 40 balls (and I wiffed on two) – just to get some timing back. To feel the sting in your palms when you make contact. To widen your feet a bit to pull the ball to left, when you’re a left-handed batter.
“We’re missing a girl, so you’ll probably start on the bench,” coach said.
Hey, fine by me. I was a substitute for another player anyway. I have not played organized ball in years. Hell, I haven’t even played unorganized ball in years. Sort of a doctor’s orders thing with the knee.
Another girl was procured from another team.
“You’re gonna play. How about you catch. In this league, you don’t even have to crouch down.”
My kind of position.
Stand behind home, soft-toss back to the pitcher.
Until our slick-fielding third basewoman decided to take a Ninja-like header trying to beat out a soft single. Put quite a strawberry on her knee.
“I can catch,” she said.
“OK, ThomG, you’re playing third.”
Shit. Balls get hit to third all the time.
Yes, I did flub a couple of plays. But I also made a couple of slick plays, too.
At the plate, I was 1-1 with a beautiful single and a strike out. Yes, I struck out. Looking. In slowpitch softball. I’m so embarrassed.
We lost, 11-5.
Everyone said I should be a permanent team member. I was thrilled just to be asked to play.
Even though I could feel my back beginning to freeze up on the way to the parking lot.
And even though I step gingerly and with the speed of a man twice my age, I feel pretty smug. While the back hurts, the knee did just fine.
I just wish the Ibuprofen would kick in.


Ronda said...

Damn! I wish I knew you played! I would have asked you to join our team that plays on Monday nights. I was scrambling to get players at the last minute. It is so much fun, though, isn't it?