“You’re killing me Smalls!”Ham (The Sandlot)
We were blessed this summer to visit 15 MLB teams, the Louisville Slugger Museum, the College World Series, the Northwoods League, Minnesota Town Ball, and two different Minor League teams. None of that can compare to playing the game, however.
After we finished The Great Baseball Ride for the summer (with hopes of finishing the trip in 2020), we had a chance to get on the field ourselves. To be clear, neither Keke, nor I have any business on a baseball field at our age, and Soren is on the young side of his baseball career. However, our nephew wanted to have an end of summer party complete with a sandlot game.
After hors d’oeuvres and cake, we headed the one block walk to the nearest park (Minnesota spoils us on parks). Our game consisted of two 70 year olds, two 40 year olds, a 39 year old, a 38 year old, an eight year old, a five year old, and a three year old. Needless to say, no one was in their prime.
In our prime or not, we had fun. It was great just to be on the clay again, to throw, catch, and swing. Above all, we laughed. This type of activity is a perfect opportunity for those who “used to” not realize that they can “no longer,” and to get hurt in the “attempt to.” No one got hurt and that is a win.
***Update. During our game, Keke tried to stop a ball by stomping her foot down and having the rolling ball hit it. Instead of her foot landing on the ground, it landed on the ball, and then her foot awkwardly twisted off the ball. Being a closet bad ass, she played through the pain. The pain persisted, so, two months later, she went to the doctor, and was told her foot was broken in two spots with some ligament damage. It took a number of months after the diagnosis for her foot to return to some sense of normalcy. So much for “no one got hurt.” Back to our story***
The last at bat came down to me (hitting) versus my eight year old nephew (pitching). After he hit me three times with pitches, I took a big swing and sent one deep, back, back, back, and just out…of the infield. It felt like I hit it farther. Oh well, it was fun anyway.