Well, I avoided it for as long as I could, but the time finally came for me to play in one of my softball games. I somehow managed to find a reason to miss the first four weeks of the season, but ran out of options this time around. There was no escape.
A couple months ago, my brother, Todd, talked me into joining him and a bunch of his friends on a men's league softball team. Aptly named, The Hitmen, our team consists of Todd's besties from high school and their brothers, the three Mantas boys, and my all-too-willing buddy Richard. Excluding myself and Richard, the rest of the team has played before (at least, that is, within the last ten years). Before last night, I can't remember the last time I picked up a bat. . . Oh, wait. . . I can remember. My cousins and I used to challenge my grandpa's neighbor girls to softball games. My cousins always made me be on the girl's team. I remember being up to bat. The pitch came my way. I swung. Made contact. Then something hit me in the face. That's right. I managed to angle the my swing just right so that the ball smacked me in the eye right off the bat.
After hearing that story, you can see why I was so hesitant to finally show up for a game. . .
Well, I got to the field and thought I should probably warm up a little bit. Richard and I took our places next to the real athletes and began playing catch. We got more and more excited each time one of us caught it. Between each throw, I found myself making comments like "Isn't there a musical somewhere that I should be watching?", "Do I throw like a girl?", etc. . .
The time finally came for the game to start. My brother posted the batting line up and I waited anxiously in the dug-out for my turn. Luckily, we had our third out right before it was my turn to bat. This meant that I could get the first out of the next inning and feel okay about it.
They graciously placed me in right-field, and promised me that nobody ever hits it out there. Wrong. A hit rolled my way, apparently I did a good job stopping it and getting it back to the pitcher.
After that inning, it was my turn to hit. I marched up to the plate, making sure to shake my booty a little extra, hoping the other team would take it easy on me [why I thought a booty shake would insight sympathy? I will never know, but it's all I had]
Anyway, the umpire [or "blue" as I like to call him] said "play ball" and I raised a shaky bat over my shoulder. The pitch came slowly [the booty shake must have worked] and I swung. I made contact and the ball dropped to the ground five feet in front of me. Oh well. . . It was still in play, so I took off toward first base. I ran as fast as my chubby little legs could carry me. I was kind of slow, but once I started going, nothing could stop me [ a lot like that X-Man "Juggernaught"]. When I crossed first base, I tried to stop myself right on the base. My shoes had virtually no traction and my body kept going. I stopped moving my legs, but my top half advanced. I spun, lept, spun again, and fell to the ground. I rolled in the air to make sure I landed on my back. I hit the dirt and a shovel full of dirt made it's way down my shorts, which started making their way down my butt.
To add to my embarrassment, I wasn't sure if I was out. So I got up and walked to first base to ask the first base coach if I was out. He nodded and I made my triumphant return to the dug out.
Now, don't take this event as an indication that I was a failure for my team. Each of my three at bats ended with me hitting the ball. My 2nd up was a single, and I eventually made it to home on my 3rd.
It was a fun time, and I have no reason to be surprised by the way things turned out. I look forward to next week. I will be buying better shoes before then, so there will be nothing stopping me.
I am the Juggernaught.