My eyes grew somewhat wide and I honestly didn’t really know what to do.
Jog? Trot? Just run the bases?
Home runs are something of a majestic thing, in any level of baseball or softball. So when you hit it, what do you do?
Let me backtrack slightly.
Many of you know I play softball. I’ve been playing since I was 16, so that’s more than 25 years. My home runs can probably be counted on two hands and the amount of those that were hit over a fence is likely on one hand.
See, I’m not a power hitter. I don’t claim to be. I never have been and never will be. Even on fields with short fences, not a home run hitter. I swing for base hits, slap the ball a little and see what I can do in that regard. Sometimes I’ll get a doubt. On rare occasions, I’ve popped a triple. But basically, singles.
The past couple of years, I’ve put a little charge in the ball. The main league I play in has a field that’s a little shorter, and two that are pretty solid. I’ve come close on all those fields.
Alas the home run eludes me.
As I climb in age, it becomes less and less of a thing, too. There aren’t many people on my team that haven’t homered at some point over the past few years. There’s me and maybe one other. And if it’s true there’s one (I can’t even remember), he’s likely a first-year player.
But I’m OK with this.
I truly do believe that it’s great to actually still be playing as I grow older. Just to get out there and run around and compete is a good thing. Would a home run be cool? Absolutely. Am I that worried about it? Not a chance.
This past season was a great one. We were the No. 2 seed in the playoffs and ended up winning the championship for the second straight year and fourth time in six seasons.
During the semifinals, I put a charge in one ball, but it came up short.
Another year, another homerless season. It’s probably been about 18 years since I last homered. Can you imagine? I’ve played on fields where the fences are like 215 feet. And I can’t homer. Routine fly balls are homers on some fields, and I end up hitting liners or grounders.
The season came and went and I was ready to call it a year. Alas, in another league, a friend’s team needed a player, so I went and played. I was brought in to pitch and I don’t always hit when I pitch. But, as I noted – the team was short on this day.
I came up for the first time and joked with one of the guys on my main league’s team that I was going to swing for the fences. I figured I may as well give it a go. Another friend had a bat with a nice feel, so I opted to use it.
Up to bat I went.
And now, allow me to quote a famous piece of writing:
Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright,
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light;
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout,
But there is no joy in Mudville—mighty Casey has struck out.
Here’s the thing though, I’m not Casey.
I think it was the third pitch. Maybe fourth. Came in right where I like it and I squared up and popped it. BOOM. Pretty much straight center and it cleared the fence.
So off I went. I made my run around the bases. As I got to second, the opposing second baseman said “Nice shot,” to which I responded, “It’s my first in like 18 years.”
Yes, that second baseman let the pitcher know that.
My second at-bat I almost popped one again – this time to left field – but the outfielder grabbed it at the top of the wall. Son of a gun
There were no more close calls after that.
It was a pretty cool feeling. I may never hit one again. But for that one moment, I got to experience the power.
This post is part of the 20 Days of Chill Writing Challenge hosted by A ‘lil HooHaa. Please check out the link if you’d like to see others or join in. You don’t have to do every theme if you don’t want! And for those participating, take a moment and check out the other participants! You can see the 2016 themes by clicking here.
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