The hot corner

Perhaps I am of the softball-playing age where I should begin to think of being put out to pasture—pasture, in this case, being the desolate expanse of the outfield known as right field.

I have been a centerfielder for much of the time since returning to Lansing’s beer league co-ed rec division post-the birth of my daughter. For the most part, I have enjoyed it—even reveled in it.

Bo Jackson

Bo knows avascular necrosis.

Except this year. I’m bored. Tracking fly balls is less thrilling, and more, well, blah. My focus isn’t there, and my joints aren’t a fan of sprinting across uneven, mole-hole filled terrain. Especially this fall, as I’ve been suffering from what seems to be a hip pointer. (Which is, as I described it to the man in the convenience store, the injury that took Bo Jackson from two-sport pro athlete to retired trivia subject pretty quickly.)

I’m looking for a new challenge. Or looking to recapture the potential I had in my youngest days, when my first fast-pitch coaches would place me at third (which then seemed insulting, as we all wanted to play first) because I had the arm, even then, to make the throw. (Even then, I was tossing the ball with a modified sidearm motion.)

I did play most of one co-ed season—my first back in action—at third. That wasn’t a particularly shining effort, but now I’m ready to give it the old Little League try all over again.

It’s time to start training. (Heck, it’ll also lead to some great blog fodder, right?) Beginning as soon as I find a willing trainer (the Mickey to my Rocky), I am spending the off-season fielding grounders, learning to dive (eek!) and, really, hoping to make myself the most Brandon Inge-like 3B in a skirt in Lansing.

Aside from ordering the Tom Emanski videos, what should I do? Who should be my Mickey? How do I become a great co-ed 3B? What else do I need to do?

Answers, please. This is going to be painful either way—but perhaps I can augment that with just a little fun.

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3 Responses to “The hot corner”
  1. johnshinnick says:

    I used to play in a city league made up of magazine professionals. I hated the day when I realized I had to get out of the game entirely. Each season, it was taking me longer and longer to limber up or warm up, and each season I was getting more injuries. The worst part, I could see my aging and my decline in my batting average and in my throwing. Couldn’t hit as far, couldn’t throw as far from one season to the next. Baseball was the only part of my life where my decline was measurable. Now I watch or listen to about 100 games a year on television or radio, and follow every playoff game to the world series. No injuries to report in the last ten seasons….

    • Angela Vasquez-Giroux says:

      John, I too have spent the last two years with injuries — after skating thru my entire “real” playing career completely unscathed. Granted, two of my most severe recent injuries were a result of indoor soccer (one inside/outside severe ankle sprain; one severe bone bruise) but, more and more, I seem to be grinding more and gliding less. That’s part of my attraction to recapturing (or even learning for the first time, with some skills) the fundamentals and tricks of the infield. I’ve had two lessons so far, and I cannot tell you what a difference it’s made just learning to get low as I approach a grounder on my backhand or forehand (while running), etc. Amazing.

      All that said, when I am ready to hang it up, or when my body makes that decision for me, 100 games a year on the radio and on television seem like an ok consolation prize.

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