Whaler Wednesday: Back in the Swing of Things

Some of you know this, but I’ve joined a softball team.It’s been fun for me to get back into the swing of things (pun intended), as over a decade of baseball memories floods back to me when I see the world through a chain-link fence and sunflower seeds in my mouth…

I started my love affair with baseball when I was just a kid going to Dawson Field in Janesville, Wisconsin, watching my Dad play for the church softball team. My cousins and I would jockey between being the batboy, playing on the playground, and eating fun dip.

(Which really, I mean, come on, how can you call eating flavored sugar with a sugar stick “dip?” But it was so good…why would my mother ever give me that much sugar…)

I remember one team we played against in the church softball league was a team that was sponsored by a local tavern. They were Presbyterians, I think. We didn’t have a drop of alcohol in my family fridge, so naturally I thought the stuff was awful. And it was from the devil. Bar sponsored Presbyterian church softball team was the team that I thought was the best to beat.

God has many characterstics, but one that I appreciate best is his sense of irony. Here I am, suiting up for this team, and I put on my Tommy Nevin’s Pub “Whalers” jersey as a Presbyterian. How ironic. I am what I once judged.

(Yes, I did ask for forgiveness, if you are wondering…)

Anyway, back to the sports section. I’m playing third base and still have got my glove and my range, but there’s something freaky about moving back to 60 foot basepaths. Standard baseball measures 90 foot basepaths, so moving back that close makes playing the hot corner a little freaky. Especially when you come up against the team we encountered this week.

They were last year’s league champs, and they played like it. They did all the little things that I remember doing back in high school baseball that just showed what a good team plays like. Of course, when a 6-6 300 pound giant stands back in the box and takes a wind up to hit the ball, let’s just say I wished I had remembered my cup when he got up to the plate…gulp.

We lost 8-1, and I didn’t do anything to help, going 0-3 at the plate. I did get a chance to show my stuff at third, and didn’t commit an error and had a couple putouts. I gotta get my bat back…

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May 2008

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