04 September 2008
A Softball Game for the Ages
Baseball: Fun to watch and follow. Softball: Fun to play. This morning I had a mission companion call me up and invite me to come play slow-pitch softball with his community team in South Jordan, UT. I love softball so I leapt for joy at the opportunity. I imagined myself coming up to bat with two outs in the top of the ninth and blasting in the winning run, being flaunted by dazzling women and then carried off the field on the shoulders of the throngs of fans chanting my name. I didn't right much know what to expect when we got to the field though, except that we had jerseys (that matched, and were button-down!) and an umpire who was not a member of either team! We had ten players (four in the outfield) and eleven members on the team so I, as the new guy, took turns playing far right field. The only time I touched the ball in the outfield was when I made a running catch with my borrowed 10 year old mitt (it was purchased for a twelve year old, and the finger size showed that). I was quite pleased with my catch. When I got to bat for the first time I followed my Mom's advice, "Swing at Everything Honey." I sent the first pitch into shallow left and made it safely to first. My second at bat was less ostentatious; I essentially hit the ball straight down and everyone was so in shock at how far the ball didn't go, that I just sprinted for first and made it safely. A bust of a bunt, but a basehit nonetheless. My third at bat was another blooper to the outfield, again a basehit. After seven innings (the regulation) the score was tied, necessitating extra innings. I sat out the eighth inning, but finally got my chance to bat in the ninth. It was fate. Imagine this: bottom of the ninth, extra innings, bases loaded, two outs, I'm up to bat. So far, things were going exactly as I had imagined them to be-in my daydreams. Again, my momma always told me to swing at everything. So when the first pitch came slowly by, I hammered it right over the leaping shortstop into centerfield and watched as my teammate on third came into Home to score the winning run! After getting to first I turned around, anticipating my name being chanted, fans fighting tooth and nail to get on the field, and those dazzling women chasing me. Unfortunately, because I was the new guy, no one on the team knew my name, the fans were not clawing to get on the field (they were distracted by their popcorn) and the dazzling women took the day off I guess. Anyway, it was a fantastic moment and my team did all come out to congratulate me, even if they called me 'Joe,' 'Francisco,' 'DeShawn,' and 'How long has he been on our team?'