I was recently approached about the possibility of joining a slow-pitch softball team.
I figured why not, I’ll give it a try.
It’s been a long time since I’ve swung a bat. Or threw a softball. Or really played anything on a diamond, for that matter.
I do have to admit, baseball was one of my favorite sports when I was in high school. But slow-pitch softball is quite different than baseball.
First of all, hitting is tough. I was never a good hitter to begin with. I think my career average is something like .200. It’s because of people like me they invented the designated hitter.
When you’re playing baseball, the pitch is coming at you. Unless it’s some sort of breaking pitch, it’s generally on a flat plane toward the plate.
Softball, on the other hand, is floating to you. It’s falling from the heavens. Sure, it’s a bigger ball, but it takes a lot of concentration.
The natural thing to do is to drop your back shoulder and try to crush the ball. That leads to a lot of harmless pop-flys. If you can figure out how to put a good swing on the ball, a softball can travel a long way.
Last night, we had our first practice. Fielding was like riding a bike. While I may have hit .200 in my career, I made less than a handful of errors in the field. It’s always been my strong points. Last night I found that old magic. I was running down fly balls in the outfield and making stops on grounders on the infield.
Then it was time to hit.
I told the fielders they could probably come in closer to the plate. I didn’t plan on making much contact. If I did, I wasn’t planning on making it out of the infield.
I think I surprised everyone, including myself.
I wasn’t able to hit any out of the park, but I did hit a couple pretty hard. I hit a few line drives, a few ground balls and some deep hits.
Was it great? No. But it wasn’t a bad start to what I hope is a pretty successful summer.