Going soft

Well, tonight was fun.

Eager to get back into some sort of organized recreational activity, I have officially joined a softball team in the city league this summer. … It’s a team comprised of a bunch of guys from our church and the college. A few months back, a wife of one of the players told Kates they were looking for some players and asked Kates if I might be interested. Kates told me about it and the next day I asked the husband about it.

He was thrilled to hear I was interested, and I was thrilled just to be playing any kind of ball again. I was in!

So we play every Tuesday and Thursday night, and tonight was our first game.

Our team name is Arghhh! And our mascot is a pirate. Go figure. ... I couldn't find my Pittsburgh Pirates hat tonight -- it remains buried somwhere in one of my unpacked boxes from our move -- but I did locate a box with some of my old little league hats. I pulled out a well-worn navy blue mesh cap -- which matches our team's yellow and black T-shirts -- from my very first season of little league baseball. With Setz Motel & Cottages in 1988. I played with the team for three years, and my dad as our coach, but I know the year of the hat because I wrote the years in permanent marker on the bills of all my little league caps. And it still fits like a glove.

Coach started me at shortstop and batting second tonight.

Our team played the field first, and I got my first chance when the third batter hit a hot shot to my right side. I moved toward the ball and tried to backhand it, but took it right off my wrist. … That’s going to leave a mark tomorrow.

I bounced right back, though. Two batters later, I got another ball hit my way. I fielded it cleanly and threw to second base for the put out. We were out of the inning, but gave up one run.

It was all us from then on.

We batted around nearly three times in the bottom of the first. I singled and scored all three times I stepped to the plate.

And because of a 15-run rule, the game was over after the top of the third inning. The game lasted barely a half hour, and the final score was something like 19-3.

We won.

I can hardly wait to play some more.

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