It seems like I probably use this day for the same sort of post each year.
But softball season starts today.
Softball has been a massive part of my life since I was in high school. Once baseball season ended, we turned to softball. I’m pretty sure the first time I ran a team was my senior year in high school. Since then, I’ve continued with a team and have had varying sponsors. We’ve been bad, we’ve been good and everything in between.
We’ve gone to many tournaments where, like our league play, we’ve been bad and good. We’ve placed as high as fifth at a state tournament and more than once gone 0-2 barbecue.
The bad for our league ended a few years after starting a team. Since then, we’ve always seemed to be in the mix some. I believe it was our fourth year as a team when we were seeded sixth in the playoffs and made a run to the championship series. We lost, but getting there — that year — was the story.
We made several return trips to the finals and never found a way to win. Finally breaking through in 2001 was one of the coolest softball moments I ever had. The league was my local one and several of us finally got to hoist the cup.
The league folded two years later.
We switched to a new league and lost a few people from the team who already committed to another team. No worries, away we went. We competed in the league, reaching the league finals a few times. We broke through again in 2011, winning the championship. We followed that up with another title in 2012.
Last year was a bit rougher. we went through good and bad stretches. In the semifinals, we played the team we had faced in the championship the year before. It was a solid series (low-scoring for the most part, only a few runs difference in each), but we were swept and the season ended.
So goes the run.
Alas, we’re back again this year.
Though the team is similar to last year, we have a few guys playing full-time again, which is awesome. But, we had a few people who were going to play back out on us. That stinks, of course, but we’ll persevere and see what happens.
It’s nice just to get out and play the game and still be able to (somewhat) do it.
As long as we can stay competitive and play right, who knows what will happen. And as long as Mother Nature cooperates today, we’ll be opening the season.
And we should even have enough to field a full team.
In the end, it’s about playing the game. With that in mind, I’ll leave you with a quote from the best movie of all time:
A good friend of mine used to say, ‘This is a very simple game. You throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains.’ Think about that for a while.
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