Softball Ringer (184th new thing).
October 9, 2011 § Leave a comment
I got an email from my friend Tyler saying his new softball team was short of ladies, and he wondered if I could fill in that evening. I didn’t have anything planned, especially not something new, so I responded with an enthusiastic, “Sure!” And then I remembered that I had acted as a fill-in lady once before, for Andre’s Starbucks’ softball team. But this time we played in Brookhaven, and I peed in the woods, so have your pick of Day One Hundred Eighty-Four’s new activity.
I arrived with a full bladder and a pair of cleats. Erin’s coworker Danny (who saw HP6b with us) was in charge of the team and was busy with the line-up. He asked another lady fill in what she liked to play. “I can do second base or outfield, that’s what I usually play.” OMG. She stole my line! That was going to be my response. I was probably going to end up at catcher.
Then I remembered I did not pay to play on this team, I did not know most of these people, and like anyone we recruit as a fill-in, you play where you’re needed. Which just so happened to be at catcher.
I played my position well enough, stopping most of the balls and covering home a few times. I never realized how scary standing behind the plate can be. Not only is a ball being lobbed at you from twenty feet away an average of three times per hitter, but there’s also a bat being swung erratically, near enough to your nose to cause unconscious wincing. And the umpire is hiding right behind you, so no running away. Fortunately the pitches were pretty accurate, but I still found myself missing the large ball on its bounce over the plate. No one wants to step any closer to the batter and his giant metal club, even to stop a ball.
We won, and would have without me. I did learn an important lesson. Catching in softball isn’t nearly as easy as it may look. I have so much more respect for catchers. And for ringers.