Saturday, August 16, 2014

Playing the Game I Love

From left: me, Rocco Valluzzo, and Martin V Hersam. It looked like Marty's play, so I pulled up. You can see the potentially disastrous result. Error on the pitcher. (Thanks, Joshua Fisher, for the great photo)
I wasn't going to play. Honest. When I played in the 74th annual (give or take) Hersam Acorn Newspapers softball game last year, I pulled a charley horse and was using my dad's cane the next day. My shoulder hurt. My elbow hurt. I couldn't throw. My bat felt particularly slow.

I wondered if it was just time to be a broadcaster or a spectator.

We needed players this year, so I decided I could use some laughs. Keeping my expectations low, I made my way to the field in Branchville.

Let's get this out of the way: we lost. We were down 9-0 after a half inning. My pitcher (and boss) Marty Hersam, has never - NEVER - won a game. Could we have stacked our defense better? It's possible. Adjusted the lineup? Perhaps. Could we maybe pick teams by NOT pulling names?

Here's another thing: I probably should have played the outfield, save for the achy legs and knees and, most notably, my arm being shot. It's depressing, but my shoulder barked at me every time I tried to uncork a throw. So I played second base and had one ball hit to me.

At the plate, well, I'm not embarrassed. I'll save you the "glory days" recap and say that I was able to find a little youth with a triple to right center field. In fact, I had two triples. I shouldn't have, but I did.

But here's the thing: I laughed. I played hard. I made other people laugh. I was laying on the grass at one point in mock disgust. Yet I loved seeing people who work so hard really letting their hair down and having fun. The camaraderie was a huge part of the day.

Plus I was back at the site where I hatched HAN Radio, and I don't forget that. Marty and I had a few laughs at that.

I'm no player. Never really have been. But I still love this game. The pain I feel today is beyond worth it and makes want to play again. It is great to be active.

Just let my body heal first.

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