Monday, May 5, 2014

(Insert Random Baseball-Related Cliche Here)

I just signed the Girl up for t-ball. I don't know how she feels about it, but I am SUPER-PUMPED, so I guess I'm going to be one of those parents. At least I know now so I can try to control myself once the action gets going. Before we had kids I envisioned myself playing catch with them every night straight out of the womb. That vision hasn't come to fruition, so I can only hope she has some skills. I know she has started throwing a big bouncy ball pretty well, but I'm sure she'll need some work on her hitting and catching a ball in her glove.

All this talk about t-ball takes me back to my glory days on the t-ball diamond. I don't have very many memories from my childhood, but there is one t-ball play that will occupy space in my gray matter for all of eternity.

It happened like this: I don't think I had exhibited any great t-ball skills up to this point, but for some reason my coach had me play shortstop for an inning or two. In later years I would find out that shortstop is usually reserved for the best player on the team, but apparently that wasn't the case in t-ball. Or maybe my coach knew as much about the game as I did at the time.

Whatever the case, I was playing shortstop. I don't remember the entire inning, but eventually the opposing team had loaded the bases, and my team hadn't gotten anyone out yet. Perhaps they had already scored a multitude of runs on us...that is not an integral part of my memory. In fact, my entire memory begins with the crack of the bat, as the 5-year-old who was up to bat hit a scorcher of a line drive that seemed to be heading straight for the outfield. All of the base runners took off, since the ball was obviously going to get over the infield

But then it happened: I jumped as high as I could, and made a miraculous catch with the tip of my glove.

I don't think the base runners knew what happened, or maybe they hadn't fully grasped the nuances of the game yet, because none of them tried to get back to their base. I tagged the little boy out who had wandered off of second, and I could have tagged the one who had been on first, too, because he was cruising into second. Instead I threw the ball over to my first baseman, Tommy, for a triple play. But then Tommy made a genius play by throwing the ball back to our third base kid, Ralph, to get a force out on the boy who had been on third, but who had already crossed home plate and was celebrating with his teammates on his bench. With one amazing catch I began what I can only assume is the only quadruple play in t-ball, and maybe even baseball, history. Jubilation erupted on our team, even though none of us really understood what we had done.

If only somebody had invented smartphones back then, maybe my miraculous play would have been a YouTube sensation. Instead, it lives only in my limited brain space. I think I better get a smartphone before the Girl's season starts... with my genes you never know what she might be capable of!
This kid has the greatest swing in the history of mankind. In my memory it's exactly like the kid who hit the scorching line drive...

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