Batter up! (the end is nigh)

So, the only reason I would ever have to watch a Major League Baseball game, and I couldn’t find any way to watch it. (Cleveland in the World Series? The world must be ending.)

But, why would I care?

I was born in Cleveland in 1963, spent a year I don’t remember living in an apartment there, and then in a tiny town called Perry, only 40 miles away. My parents lived there until Dad died, and I was the one who sold their house. Occasionally, while I lived there, I went to an Indians game if some group I was somehow associated with was going, and usually only because there were going to be fireworks, but also because it was a sport I understood.

Football, not so much.
Basketball, even less.

I did a one-season stint in basketball, 8th grade I think. I was awful. Dreadful, even. I think I played in an official game for a total of 5 minutes that season. Maybe less. Let me tell you something true: If someone tells you that you’d be good at basketball because you’re tall, they’re lying. Being tall doesn’t enter into it nearly as often as needing to understand zone defense and one-on-one and running constantly until you pass out.

Football, I almost understood by my senior year, because I’d go to games to hang out with my best friend who had to be there because she was in band. And I tried to pay attention, and cheered in almost always the right places. And it was fun because I knew the guys playing. Well, I say knew. I knew who they were, and had possibly even exchanged the rare awkward sentence or two with a few who were in my class. Small school, but I didn’t talk much except to the very few I was the least uncomfortable around. After graduation, I forgot everything I’d learned about football. No regrets.


Honestly, I can’t remember what it was, but something made me realize that Volleyball was something I could dig. (Heh, heh. Get it? Nevermind.) After my Junior year I joined the volleyball team, went to volleyball camp and didn’t totally stink at it. I learned to throw myself at the ground without fear, to save the ball (as long as I had my official knee pads.) I had the dubious honor of being the only Senior on the Junior Varsity team, and wishing it had occurred to me a few years before that I would actually like playing on a team again.

Again? Yes, again.

You see, I’d played in a girls’ summer league since 3rd grade. The first couple years were awesome. We had good players and we won games.

The game was slow-pitch softball. Because I’m not stupid enough to stand still and have someone throw a hard little ball at me as fast as physically possible, on purpose. So, SLOW pitch and SOFT ball. What could go wrong?

{{But….sometimes they do end up hitting you. I learned this up close and personal and RIGHT IN MY FACE years later, when I caught a softball in the mouth one time, thrown by our first baseman (basegirl? baseperson?) who had one heck of an arm on her. I learned things that day. Lesson-type things. I learned that SOFTballs are really misleadingly named. Oh, and I learned that having braces when catching a ball in the mouth is a mixed blessing. Shredded my lips, but they probably kept my teeth from being knocked out. Good times.}}

So, after that encouraging start of a couple years on a good team, some of the older players graduated from the Pigtail league up to the Ponytail league, and we got new blood. Bad blood, sports-wise. Signed up by well-meaning parents, some of those girls had never played any sport, and had to be taught EVERYTHING. A couple of them did not speak a word of English, only Spanish, and nobody could communicate with them at all, so that was fun.

Suddenly, I was one of the best players on the team.
And it’s not because I was really awesome at softball.

It was like The Bad News Bears. Only with more girls and less swearing.
And zero winning.

If you know my sister, ask her. She was on the same team and will back me up on this.

So, it was awful. Even “I WANT TO QUIT” awful. But, Mom & Dad had a rule. We could not quit in the middle of a season. Something about Not Letting Down the Team and They Were Counting On Us. Or some such. I suppose that was true, since Debbie and I were two of the few who could hit, catch the ball and score runs (on occasion) So, we stuck it out.

And then temporary insanity struck.

I signed up for the next season. And the next.
{{Maybe not so temporary?}}

Eventually, I got to the Ponytail league myself and was on a decent team again. Eventually I was on the team with the girl who had a great arm who would end up throwing the ball I caught with my mouth.

Oh, I forgot to mention. I was the catcher.

That fateful day, we didn’t have enough players to show up to play an official game, so we forfeited, but decided to play anyway “for fun” — and some Adult In Charge told me that I didn’t have to wear the catcher’s mask since it wasn’t an official game. I really hated the mask, so I didn’t. Idiot.

Also? Being catcher ruined my knees. For years. After some help from a chiropractor, and some self-prescribed physical therapy, my knees are in (slightly) better shape than they were at age 18.

So, anyway, I’ve digressed a bit from my opening. How about them Indians, eh? And the Cubs, too? What a historic event. My husband remarked that having both the Indians AND the Cubs in the same World Series was surely a sign of the apocalypse. But it’s come and gone and the world is still here.

But, Election Day is in 5 days, so it may end up it was a sign after all.


About Bobbie Laughman

May vanish if startled. Professional Advice Dispenser. Amateur Human Being. Scam Detector. Christian. Grandma. Writer-ish. Artistic leanings. Anti-social. Old School Trekkie. Contains Nuts.
This entry was posted in humor, memories and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Batter up! (the end is nigh)

  1. debbieweber says:

    Good old Bailey Lumber 🙂

Got something to say?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s