Feeling the years…and having fun!

August 20, 2010

This summer I tried to turn back the clock…by about 15-20 years.

I played on a competitive softball league for the first time since, well, let’s just say Bill Clinton was in his first term as President and no one had been warned about Y2K yet.

I played with preparation, due to taking a lifetime fitness class at Tri-C. Thanks to you, Sue and your terrific group at the fitness lab.

I prepared mentally, reviewing everything someone at my position (pitching) is supposed to do besides the basics – backing up throws and bases, covering first on balls hit to the right side of the infield, etc.

I was blessed.  My church, Cuyahoga Valley, didn’t have a team this year. With the help of my sister Kay, the men at Christ Redeemer Lutheran Church took me in and let me join their team. Many thanks Pastor Bob Springer!

Christ Redeemer competes in the Nordonia Men’s Church Softball League.  It has a web site:  http://www.nmcsl.org/

The web master is does a fine job.  Love the Scripture on the home page from the book of John: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Thanks also to the manager and to great teammates: Scott, Lee, Jeff, Dave, Brian, Paul, and many others. It was a privilege playing with them. I wasn’t the oldest, but I’m not telling who is…

I didn’t keep track of wins or losses very much. It’s on the web site.

The game has changed! Every batter begins with a 1-1 count at the plate. There’s more pressure on the pitcher and the hitter that way, and the play goes faster.

My batting needs some help. I’m not a pull hitter anymore…but my reflexes sometimes acted like it, resulting in some not-very-pretty pop ups.

Playing was great! My competitive desire was there…and seeing (and being part of) comraderie among teammates was terrific.

The highlight of the season for me was Christ Redeemer’s second playoff game.  We had won game one, and we were opposing league champion (and eventual playoff champion) Western Reserve Grace “Gray” (the church has two teams, and both are very good!).  We were one player shy – there were 9 of us competing against 10 of them – and we were ahead 9-8 going into the last of the 6th inning of a seven-inning game.

We lost 11-9….why couldn’t that pitcher do a little better?

Oops – I was the losing pitcher.

I was playing the game on a torn plantaris muscle as well. My doctor read me the riot act about that.  More on that subject another time…

Our scorebook keepers told me I had a game where I struck out three batters. 

Slow-pitch softball isn’t a pitcher’s game. I do employ an “unique” (Kathy Kerezy’s word..) style when I pitch.  You can see it in the picture below. If I can throw the batters off just a little – make them pop up or hit in on the ground instead of pounding a slowly thrown ball 300 feet or more – I’ve done my job.

Thanks again everyone. I’m just grateful for the opportunity to play again.

Next season?  Way too early to tell. 

(photo courtesy of Alex Kerezy, who came back from China this summer…but not just to take pictures.)

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