Yep. This is where I'd rather be.
I enjoyed lime's post today... you can see it here...
Its about her feelings through her life on baseball.
I love baseball.
I grew up in a Dodger household, both of my folks having graduated from USC, all sports were LA related. Add to that the fact that I grew up in a neighborhood that did not have any girls my age until I reached junior high school but was chalk full of boys, boys, boys. I naturally played with trucks and any game the boys wanted to play... if I wanted to play at all. You bet I did.
The boys played hard ball. When I was fairly young, I was sent into right field. We did not have a proper field, so we played on the vast lawn of the college only a block from my home. My brother, who was protective... out of fear of my parents blaming him for any ill that might befall a little sister... would tell me..."Further!" until I was way out of range of any ball happening into my area. I'm sure the desire to win and not be blamed by his friends for any little sister screw ups played a role in that as well.
In one area that did not matter. They still had to have me at bat. But that was where I excelled even in the earliest days. I was so short that I had no strike zone.
Very cool beans! As time passed they even let me come closer and field a few rolling balls.
When softball sign-ups arrived in 6th grade, I was right in there. No one wanted to shield me. I got clobbered enough to make me weary of the ball. So I was thrilled to be placed in right field once again... secure in the fact that no one hits into right field very often.
I could stand out there and watch the game or gaze off into the inner space of my own mind filled with epic baseball action... on my part of course!
Generally speaking that was the way that it went my first year playing. The team was a tight group who all attended the same school, though it was a community program. I got to hang out with girls for a change. Albeit, they were tom boys like me, but that made it even better. I was content. I had a real uniform and everything. I slept with my glove under my pillow.
Yet, it was still more fantasy than action.
Then came my big game. We were in the last inning and things had gone well. I'd been walked every time and managed to make it home three times. All was golden in my world. But it was tight. They were one run behind us and had two outs. This could be a win or it could be the kind of loss that makes you crazy... snatched from your grasp at the last. For them and for us.
You could see the stress on JC... our pitcher's face. She wanted desperately to strike this girl out.
The girl at bat was to our thinking a real ringer.
One of those girls who bloom early or were held back a few years. It was hard to tell. She was tall and she was well muscled. She had obvious boobs! We all watched her with dread as she took a few practice swings, then nodded at JC to let her know she was ready to bat.
I admit that I was less nervous than the rest of the team. Heck... I was out in right field where I was safe. Then coach pointed at me.
Me? Why me?
She motioned for me to come closer.
Grumbling under my breath, I did as she wanted and took a wide stance, bent over and smacked my glove to show I was ready. Yeah... here we go baby!
I'm all over it.
JC let fly a perfect pitch... if you were the girl at bat.
I wasn't at all nervous when the ball cracked and began to fly. Then...
Holy crap it was coming right for me!
All the times I had been bashed by the ball flashed before my disbelieving eyes. The ball arced up, I squatted down and covered my head with my glove and right hand.
I could see my coach's mouth drop open... a look of horror lit her face. I could not hear her words, but I knew she was yelling "What are you doing?"
Well, being a coward came to my mind. But then, the ball hit me square on top of my head and thought vanished through the stars and shame.
Because of the pain, I reacted quickly and stood up.
As I did a miracle happened. My legs came together and I caught the fly ball between my knees. I grabbed it with my hand and stood there just looking at it. How was such a thing even possible?
I was still starring at it when my coach grabbed me in a bear hug and my team mates began pounding me on the back.
I looked at coach and asked the question every player wants to know...
"Does this mean we get pizza?"