Springtime daydreams

Usually it’s mid-February before this particular bit of ants-in-my-mental-pants begins: the hint of grass I catch scenting the wind when I’m bringing the dogs indoors; the memory of the particular perfume dirt and sweat and freshly washed uniforms concoct, the way the dirt of the infield lingers so that later, your lips taste like beating … Continue reading

Make it hurt so good

1. When I was in sixth grade—the last year I played Little League fast pitch softball before quitting until high school—my coach, Mr. Tersigni, would pile us all into the back of his Ford Bronco and take us to Dairy Queen after a win. While the experience of that last season and my volatile coach … Continue reading

Doing everything you do, in a skirt, or, Some thoughts on being a girl, doing boy things

1. A few days ago, Tim Carmody sent James Fallows’ wonderful “Throwing Like a Girl” my way. In typically superb Fallows form, he unpacks and challenges what it means to “throw like a girl,” and why, if it’s not exactly gender specific (because plenty of women throw correctly) it’s still largely female examples we see … Continue reading

Basically, everything you’ve been taught is wrong

Even now, I or another of my teammates on one of my co-ed Lansing rec league softball teams will say to a struggling hitter, “Swing level.” My good friend Maggie, who rediscovered her swing the first year I played on her team, said she can always hear her father, good old Ray Striz, telling her … Continue reading

It’s looking like a limb torn off

I believe in being five my father teaching me to throw in the backyard/ our house on Crescent Avenue: sidearm hard almost no arc on the ball watched it tail as a ten inch comet to my father’s open mitt. From FOR TIM (suggesting I name ten things I truly believe, which is really fucking … Continue reading

In which I have a hard time keeping a straight face (That’s what she said)

“He’s got a mean streak,” says his manager, Sparky Anderson. “As mean as Pete Rose. That’s saying the best thing that could be said about a ballplayer.” There are a lot of weak aspects to my game – hence hiring a coach to convert me into a real, badass third baseman, aka #Project3B. But despite … Continue reading

Project 3B

I don’t have time to be angry away from the field. So I brush it off, bottle it up and drink a tall glass of it before taking the mound. —Brian Wilson, Giants closer and general badass When I was a kid, the standard-bearer for bad-ass preparation tactics was the Siberian training montage in Rocky … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading