So, I worked all morning/most of the afternoon and came home to find my mom doing what she’s been doing for the past few weeks – scanning all of the family pictures onto her computer.
See, a few years ago, she made my brother, sister and I all scrapbooks that chronicled our birth through our senior year of high school (she made 2 individualized scrapbooks per kid… like, a LOT of time and thought went into these wonderful, wonderful scrapbooks). Now, she’s scanning ALL of the family pictures so that my brother, sister and I will have digital copies of everything (i.e. 30 years of pictures…).
My mom is a saint, obviously.
So, I was sitting at the table and looking over at what year she was on. It was the summer of ’94, since I was on the orange softball team (I was on the orange team in ’93 & ’94). I was getting some sort of trophy… this was not a huge surprise as every summer I was on a team that either won PErcentage Champs (i.e. best record in the league) and/or was in the Day of Champs (the finals for the league). I was never on the winning team of the Day of Champs, but I definitely have a lot of Percentage Champs and Day of Champs trophies packed away somewhere.
Somehow my mom and I got to talking about the ball team I was on in ’97 & ’98 (the light blue team). My mom was my coach in ’98 and she told me how another coach made us play our semi-finals game on the one day my mom was busy with something else and how he did that on purpose because he was pissed that my mom/my team was undefeated that season even though we were basically the equivalent of the Bad News Bears (talk about a rag-tag bunch of kids… I don’t know how we won a few games, let alone 20).
But, what really made me laugh was hearing the story about how I ended up on the light blue team to begin with in ’97. My sister was on that team the past two years, but she was done with that league. I had a hunch I was going to be on that team, but I didn’t know that I was the first round draft pic for the whole league that summer.
My mom recalled the story and I just laughed. I guess the coach said that his daughter wasn’t going to pitch that summer, so he needed a pitcher (the teams that didn’t have an established pitcher were allowed to pick first so that everyone would have a decent pitcher to keep things “fair”), so he nabbed me before any of the other teams could. Drafts were held at the middle school, and my elementary school gym teacher was one of the umps in the league, and after I was “drafted,” I guess he ran out and told everyone waiting that I was the first one picked (because I guess it was a big deal that I was out of the running for the other teams… I mean, I know I was a good pitcher, but it makes me laugh to think that it mattered to people which team I ended up on that summer).
Turns out the coach’s daughter still did pitch that summer, so I was the relief pitcher (and then the primary pitcher that next summer), but I guess the whole point was that I wouldn’t be pitching *against* his team.
In all honesty, I was one of the best pitchers in my age bracket from 4th-9th or 10th grade. Then everyone else finally caught up and then ultimately surpassed me. I had a few unofficial pitching lessons from one of my sister’s coaches, but I just threw for fun. I didn’t have an very diverse set of pitches. I could throw a change up, and I could throw a fastball. I could control the ball inside, outside, high or low. At one point, one of my coaches tried to teach me to throw a knuckleball. I threw that twice successfully. But, I didn’t have a breaking ball. I didn’t have a slider. By time you hit high school, coaches expect you to throw crazy shit. I had control, but I couldn’t throw crazy shit.
The summer before my freshman year, I got hurt. I fell backward during a game and hit my head against the ground pretty bad and messed up my spine a bit. I did physical therapy, but I’m still feeling this injury and it’s been 14 years now.
I still pitched throughout high school, but it hurt. I pitched almost every game my freshman year (was JV MVP b/c of it), and then off and on in 10th grade. When I hit Varsity in 11th grade, I was turned into an outfielder (I had a great arm. Again, this is not bragging. I could throw. My first Varsity game I threw a girl out at home plate from left field.). I was still a relief pitcher and threw every now and again. Other girls on the team were better (or at least were way more serious about playing softball after high school), but I was put in when needed and I delivered.
I’m what we call a “has been.” I was a good athlete. I was an asset to whatever team I was on. Now I’m just someone who used to play ball. I might now play anymore, but my back still thinks I do. This damp weather is killing me.
Well… that’s enough shop talk 🙂
I’m off from work tomorrow… gotta run some errands (I’m gonna get a portfolio or something fancy to put my paperwork in for next week’s interview) and then bake some brownies or something!
I CANNOT F-ING WAIT TO SEE MY BROTHER THIS WEEKEND
Have a good one