Wednesday, June 07, 2006
[Clemente Field, where I play weeknights - It isn't as tilted as it appears here...]
What I learned is that MY WIFE and I share a psychic bond of some sort.
You'll recall that I was agonizing over whether or not to hang up my spikes. Well, I'm happy to report that I won't be doing that just yet. However, before I give you the details concerning my performance, let me tell you about the best part of the evening.
It was the top of the second inning. I was playing first base and the batter hit a little pop-up. I called for it, caught it for the third out of the inning, and then I heard a female voice say, "Nice catch, Sully!"
"Who the hell knows me?", I thought. I turned around to look. And there was MY WIFE.
You should understand that MY WIFE does not regularly attend my softball games. She isn't a total stranger, but I'd say her visits average about twice a year over the course of the time we've been together. And I usually have some idea of when she's going to show up. Last night was totally out of the blue.
As for further evidence of a psychic bond, she doesn't read this blog unless I print it out for her - which I do only if I'm particularly proud of what I've written, which, given my ego, means about half the time. Still, there was no way she knew about the back-and-forth I was having with myself about continuing to play. For her to show up in support, without truly knowing how much that support meant to me last night, was about as pleasant a surprise as I could have hoped for.
(She also suggested we order dinner after the game from my team's sponsor, The Linwood Grill, which you should visit if you're over by Fenway some night and tell 'em Sully sent you. That will impress absolutely nobody and will get you nothing more than a strange look, but I've always wanted someone to say that and it may as well be you. We got the pulled pork, with sweet potato mash, jambalaya rice, cold cucumber salad and cornbread. Yummy! It was the second-best part of the evening.)
The third-best part of the evening was my actual performance in the game. It was OK. Good enough to give me hope that I haven't totally deteriorated into a stumblebum, but nothing great. I'm now at least willing to play a few more and see what happens.
I struck out with runners on second and third, two outs, in the first inning. I was ready to hang it up right then and there, but the opposing pitcher last night was the fellow I consider to be the toughest in the entire league, so I decided that striking out against him isn't the worst sin in the softball world. As it turns out, I wasn't the only one who whiffed against him. He had five or six for the game - and none of the rest of them were me.
MY WIFE showed up in the top of the second. Not only do we share a psychic bond of some sort; she also appears to be my good luck charm. After that strikeout in the first, I finished the night with a single and a walk. So, 1-for-2, a walk, a run scored. My play in the field was alright. An iffy error in the sixth - may have been mine, may have been the third baseman's. It was a low throw, wide to the left. I stretched for it, it hit the glove, but the glove was flat on the ground and the ball popped out before I could close the glove. Could've been scored either way, but if it's in my glove, I should have it, so I'll take it.
We lost, so that's the worst part of the evening. We're now 2 and 5. This team is much better than that, with or without me and whether I'm playing well or not.
All in all, it was a good evening. I played well enough to give myself continued hope and I was reminded (again) of why I love the person I do. What the heck more could I possibly ask for from life?
(If life is taking requests, a million dollars. Otherwise, I'm very satisfied.)