#109 – Boo Baseball
Gather round, kids. It’s time for Grandpa Pauly to tell you all a story from ages past. Well, more like from when I was eight or nine years old.
You see, there was a time when I played baseball with the community league. Granted, I was generally out in left field and warming the bench. At point I played pitcher, which was like being the lead singer of a choir. Anyways, there was this one game that I’ll never forget. My team versus another team. Yeah, I know–captivating stuff. Now, the other team was known for its pitcher, a big stick of a boy that could throw harder and faster than…mmm…God? No, Thor. Yeah, let’s go with Thor. I was warming up to bat, watching my teammate slink his way up to the plate. Everyone was, more or less, afraid.
Then my teammate got pegged in the back with a speedball. He dropped to the ground, writhing, calling out in pain. The game was put on hold for a second as parents and coaches rushed over to check on him. He wasn’t in good condition; they ended up having to take him to the hospital for internal injuries. After that, the game resumed.
Guess who was up to bat next?
My coach kept signaling for me to bunt (I was an excellent bunter by the way, if such a trait is admirable). I didn’t know the sign for “you’re a crazy man.” I do remember my knees shaking, my hands growing hot and sweaty, that stupid helmet on my head feeling heavier than a rock. The pitches came, and they came fast. From here on, I don’t know what happened next. Did I bunt? Did I strike out? I know I didn’t get hit with the pitch. But everytime someone does–whether it’s the boy above in Little League or Joe Schmoe with the bigwigs or Susy Q in softball–I think of my teammate, shaking in the dirt like a broken toy. I’m 96% sure that the pitcher is in jail these days.
Doesn’t storytime rule?