Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Softball Returns; lightning Remains Among the Living

First softball game of the season was Monday night. I got there early and waited forever for most of the team to show up. Looked at the other team. Sheesh -- they looked a lot younger and in much better condition than most of my team.

My captain posted the lineup. I was in at my usual place: second base. Now, of course, there is significance to playing second base. It is one of the places that a team can hide its ... shall we say ... less adept fielders?

When I was around 30 years old I was a softball junkie. One summer I remember playing on five teams at once. I was never one to hit with a lot of power, but I could sting the ball, hit the gaps for extra bases, and I could actually still run and field then. Now ... ha!

The game had a funny beginning. In our league, everyone begins an at bat with a count of 1-1 to speed up the game. All games go a max of 55 minutes. Anyway, the umpire is a co-worker of mine. About six months ago, I assisted his daughter. After helping her, I razzed the father, Doug, saying "I met your daughter. She is a nice young lady -- intelligent, polite, and very attractive. Your wife must be very pretty -- I mean -- your daughter had to get her looks from someplace ..." Yeah -- I thought that was pretty funny. Well tonight he called the captains over before the game to review some ground rules. "Remember -- everyone starts out with a count of 1-1 ... except lightning, who starts with a 1-2 count." Gulp. Payback is a bitch!

In the top of the first inning, the second batter up hit a popup between first and second base. As I felt my way through the sandy wet infield and then the lip of the outfield grass, I kept thinking "Don't effing drop the first chance of the season!" Fortunately, I did not.

My game stats: 2-3 (fielder's choice, single, single), 1 pop out, 1 assist, 1 bad hop, 1 ball I could have reached ten years ago ...

Who won? Well ... we were down most of the game and went into the bottom of the sixth down 12-8. I led off the inning with a clean hit to one of my favorite spots, right-center. The right center fielder was playing way too far back, obviously influenced by my muscular physique! The next thing you know ... hit, hit, hit, walk, hit, hit ... We went ahead 14-12 as time expired, ending the game during our at bat since we were the home team. Yowsa -- undefeated!

I stopped to pick up some dinner on the way home and contemplated the evening -- Chinese food, two hits, opening game victory, no injuries. Life is good ... very good ...



Anonymous KenP said...

First known instance of going from Lightning to Traction in 55 minutes.

6:28 AM  
Blogger Lucki Duck said...

Old Guys Rule!

9:20 AM  
Blogger Josie said...

That's the best picture I've seen of you yet! lol

1:56 PM  
Blogger Josie said...

Wait a minute! Is that a crucifix hanging in the background of the photo? lol

1:57 PM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

Josie, I was going to paint it out of the background, but yes -- like any good Catholic family we have a crucifix or two around the house.

2:06 PM  

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