Sorry. I don’t follow sports . I know , that’s somewhat un-American ; but , that’s the way it is .
There was a guy at my work years ago who knew that tidbit of information about me but he seemed to like me anyway . At some point we developed a sign-in routine each morning , and when we’d see one another I’d say , ” Hey , did you see that game last night ? ” . He would , of course , answer in the affirmative and we’d begin to throw around a few nutty statistics and mention rugby , jai alai , or lawn bowling , or horseshoes to awe and bewilder our colleagues . Some of them eventually caught on to the joke , and others are probably still wondering after all of these years about those two guys who followed those particular sports so closely .
I played baseball as a kid , though . I played some games as an adult , too , usually on the 4th of July . I might still play if a game came up and needed another player , but that hasn’t happened lately .
Take me out to the ballgame .- Tony Martin
Put me in , Coach , I’m ready to play ! Centerfield –John Fogarty .
When I was a kid I played little league baseball . I liked baseball . But , one year , I sat most of the year on the bench . The coach’s son pitched every game and his friends played every inning of every game . Another kid and I were not part of that group , and so we sat on the bench game after game . This was the coach’s fault , of course .
When baseball is no longer fun , then it’s no longer a game . Joe Di Maggio
So , my friend Bobby D. and I sat out most games . If the team was far enough ahead or too far behind by the eighth or ninth inning , then the coach would put us in , or put one of us in . Usually I’d hang out in right field during the last inning of the game hoping that I might have a chance to get up to bat before the game ended . Sometimes I did get to bat ; sometimes I didn’t .
Baseball is 90 % mental , and the other half is physical. Yogi Berra
In the middle of the season I decided to skip a game . I was finally fed up and I had by then had enough .
The phone rang shortly before game time , though . The assistant coach told me that the teams were on the field but our team was short one player . He told me that it would be my fault if the team had to forfeit the game and that I should get over to the park right now . I told him that I had decided to skip the game because I always ended up just sitting out the games . He assured me that I would play this entire game because I was needed to fill out the roster because they were short one player without me .
Against my better 10 year- old’s judgement , I hopped on my bike and rode as fast as that bike would go over to the park . By the time I arrived there fifteen minutes or so later another boy , one of the regulars , had arrived. He took his position on the field . Need I say more ? Again I ended up on the bench and I sat there for the entire game . Thanks , Coach !
Then came the final game of the season .
This final game wasn’t going to decide the season for that team one way another , so the coach let Bobby and I play . Well , I’m not sure that Bobby D. had hung in there as long as I had or that he was even there for that last game . Hopefully Bobby had more sense and self-awareness than I had and had bailed on the team before that . Maybe he wasn’t even there that day . I’m not sure about that , now that I think of it . Good for you , Bobby , if you weren’t !
To make a long story short , I got up to bat four times during the game . I hit a home run , two triples , and a double . When I threw the ball in to the catcher during beginning warm-up from deep left field I could see that the ball had stung his hand when he caught it . ( I had a good throwing arm in those days . Not no more ! ) My throw had come in low right over home plate , too . The coach was standing next to the catcher when the boy took off his glove and waved his stinging hand in the air .
After the game I went to the restroom and when I was walking back to the diamond to pick up my stuff the coach approached me . He put his arm on my shoulders and complimented my performance during the game .
” Next year , I’m going to put you in first string , ” he said .
” Why would I play on your team next year ? ” I said . ” I sat on the bench all year , ” I said . I looked him in the eye when I said it . I hope that I did , anyhow . ” I’m switching teams next year .”
I put a season’s-worth of suppressed anger and humiliation into that statement . The coach seemed surprised . My declaration may not have done that heartless s.o.b. coach any good ; but it sure did me some good , and it still does when I think back on it .
To succeed in life you need three things : a wishbone , a backbone , and a funny-bone . Reba McEntire
I always wanted to be somebody , but now I realize that I should’ve been more specific . Lily Tomlin