I appear to have made a habit of making shocking revelations in this blog, and I fear that this entry is no exception, so I will pause while you steel yourself. Ready? I’ve never owned a baseball glove.
Please come out from under the bed. You could suffocate if you wrap that Stars and Stripes any tighter around yourself, although I suspect that you can’t hear me as you have your fingers jammed in your ears and are singing “God Bless America” at the top of your lungs. Here, have a piece of Mom’s apple pie and calm down.
In fact, I’ve only worn a baseball glove twice in my life; the first time was when helping out at my son’s training session a couple of years ago as I ran around collecting balls as he practiced batting. The second episode was only this summer when my daughter attended a softball pitching training session. After being shown the basic techniques, all the girls settled in for some pitching practice with the help of a family member to act as catcher. I have to say that it gave me great pleasure to see her delivering balls with a fair degree of accuracy and more than a little pace, especially as it was her first ever attempt at pitching.
There is a great deal of satisfaction in hearing and feeling the ball slap into your glove, especially when it is your own flesh and blood delivering the ball. She didn’t pitch this season, but hopefully she will next year, although I have to say that her batting this year has been spectacular. Of course, I attend as many games as I can, although I missed a couple this year due to events scheduled before the season’s fixtures were known. About a third of the way through the season she remembered that she is both competitive and aggressive and her whole approach changed; she came to the plate wound up like a spring, daring the pitcher to throw a strike, and I’m happy to report that apart from a couple of sacrifice RBIs and a couple of good hits that deserved better, almost every time she got a hit, she got a run.
In blazing sun, in torrential rain she went out and always did her best and enjoyed herself even in defeat. My only regret is that her team didn’t make the playoff final and I was denied the opportunity to dye my hair pink for the game as I had promised her. Yes, you read that sentence correctly. I took a tube of temporary dye all the way to San Francisco on a trip with my sweetie just so I would have it available and be prepared to attend the match as soon as I got home. I bet that would have give airport security something to puzzle over.
It wasn’t a terribly successful season, but the most important thing is that she developed as a person, improving those soft skills that are so vital in order to be a decent human being; teamwork, compassion, empathy, sportsmanship, determination, courage. That’s what I understand when I read the phrase ” It’s not the winning that counts, but how you play the game”.