Centerfield

Catcher
Catcher
Yesterday was Opening Day for America’s Favorite Pastime. I have always been a sports fan, so I figured I would write something about baseball. As I started formulating in my mind what I would write, it suddenly dawned on me that I had not seen my eldest granddaughter in about a week and a half.

Why? Probably because one of her recent birthday presents was a cell phone.

She has had a cell phone for at least a year, but it was her Mom’s old phone. The phone portion was deactivated, but she could connect to the internet via the home Wi-Fi connection.

Now, she can call her Mom whenever needed, or call her friends. She can also access the internet anywhere she happens to be.

She can also call me anytime she feels the need, or send me multiple text messages, filled entirely with emojis. She has only done that once. So far.

Having a real working cell phone of her very own is all fun and games for her right now. At least until her Mom gets her next cell phone bill.

But literally seconds before I was about to start typing this blog post, guess who came downstairs?

There were three reasons she came downstairs to see me. First was to show off her new hair. She had dyed the lower half of her hair blond. I asked her why she killed off her hair. She looked at me funny, so I started to explain that if her hair had dyed…

At that point, she gave me that look. You know the one, with the rolling eyes and the shaking head. Yes, she is starting to get my attempt at humor.

The second reason was to tell me that she had decided to try out for Little League Softball. Her Mom, who had also come downstairs but for a completely different reason, confirmed that she had decided this just the night before.

I’m familiar with the Little League Softball program in town, as my youngest daughter had decided to play one season with them.

My first question was if she was going to play in the infield, or the outfield. Her response? She said she was a really good hitter.

I then attempted to let her know that she also had to play a position, either in the outfield or the infield.

Yeah, that part hadn’t crossed her mind, or if it did, it didn’t stay around long enough for her to actually give any thought to it.

Way back when I was a kid about her age, I did play on the school soccer team. For a year. I really wasn’t very good at it, but then at that age, neither were most of the rest of us. The reason my school career was only for a year was my parents had just purchased a summer home in another state, so the team was already chosen and playing before I returned home for school in September.

I also wanted to play both baseball and basketball, but except for the very occasional flash of brilliance during P.E Class, I really wasn’t good at either of them. But, in Elementary school, I did get very good at keeping the score books for both, and in High School, I latched onto the brand new video camera and recorder that the vocational department had just purchased, and my path was set for going into broadcasting, while becoming a valued part of most of the school sports teams.

My best sports memory from school was playing softball in P.E. Class. I had the annoying habit of never striking out, and always hitting the softball into right field.

The kids in P.E. who knew anything about softball knew to put everyone in center or left field, because everybody pulled the ball when they hit it. Because I always had a late swing, I always punched the ball into right field.

My best memory of high school P.E. softball? The day they got smart and put the everyone into right field. Now, maybe coach, who always did the pitching (probably just to make sure nobody got hurt with an errant pitch), saw the same opportunity I did and tossed me a slower than normal pitch.

Which I promptly sent into left field.

During P.E. class, nobody wanted to be the catcher, so I ended up taking that position, which was much better than embarrassing myself anywhere else in the outfield or on the diamond.

Oh, the third reason my Granddaughter had come downstairs? Seems that her Mom was tired and wanted her to go to bed early, so she had followed her mother downstairs to talk with me and temporarily postpone her banishment to her bedroom for the rest of the evening. But her Mom was very insistent.

So, I mentioned to her that maybe she should try out to be a catcher as she left the living room, heading toward the hall to go back upstairs. I didn’t see what she did next, but her Mom did and told me.

My granddaughter promptly turned around and got down into a perfect catchers squat position.

Put her in, coach. She’s ready to play.