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Who plays softball or baseball?


But hey, playing anything even close to baseball is a joy, so I'll take it.
100%. When I was a kid I had family that lived on an old farm. My cousin and me would play strikeout all winter in one of the barns. Good times.

ps - a little off topic but my screen name, Hey Fred, that's the name of the softball team I played for since '91. Team and league was founded by a bunch of pot smoking, acid dropping, hippies from the sixties who all lived on Fredrick Ave.

Practice today, woohoo!

It actually rained all night and into this morning. But it's around 60, the field has a few hours to dry out, and we'll probably stick to the outfield grass. Just gotta get out there and shake the rustwebs off.

This could go into the dumb sports rules thread. I subbed for a team last night and apparently there is a rule in the league where you can't score more than seven runs in an inning. Once that seventh run crosses the plate - inning over. If your down eight why bother playing the last inning? Last night the team we were playing pushed seven across with nobody out. They had bases loaded and one of their guys crushed one. Could've been a grand slam, triple at worst and would have put them up three or four with no outs. Instead the inning was over and they were up two. We ended up winning by four.

Ha. Yeah, I've seen stuff like that (though it was more like 10). Was this baseball or softball? If it's softball, that's way too low. It's not weird at all for a team to score that many.

Aluminum bat softball. I could maybe see it in a wood bat league where ten runs usually wins the game but aluminum bat leagues are usually in the 20's. It's one of those goofy rules that you hate... until you start walking off the field saying thank God that's over.

Yep. Play at the plate (yeah I catch cause I'm lazy). I thought maybe the runner knocked it out, not that it was a Buster Posey play at the plate but there was contact and the ball ended up at the backstop. When I went to pick it up with my glove I couldn't. I thought I was losing my mind : WHY CAN'T I PICK UP THE BALL? That's when I saw everything floppin' around. Finished off the inning with a teammates glove (which I hate doing - they never break em in right and to me it's like borrowing someones shoes) then patched mine up between innings to finish the game. All fixed now. Had to replace laces from pinky to thumb and all along the top of the webbing.

Figured this might be of interest to fellow softball players: put together a highlight reel (complete with compilation of people falling down) for my softball team, the Raging Avocados:


I came into this year deciding that, if I got vaccinated and things looked good, I was going to join as many softball teams as possible. I wanted to sorta-kinda approximate what it feels like to play real baseball, which is to say, a game almost every day for half a year. So I joined six teams and made up my mind to say yes to any requests to play as a sub if they didn't overtly conflict with something else. Some basic math suggested I could maybe get to 100 games.

It's August now, and I've played in 65 games (some partial, but a bunch of others were nine innings rather than seven, anyway) and I've had almost 250 plate appearances. I should top 100 games easily, and might even get close to 500 at bats, but I'd say 420-430 is more likely.

Unsurprisingly, I've suffered some injuries:

  1. Most notably, I took an awkward half-slide into second a few months ago and hurt my left knee. I went to physical therapy a few times and, while it's improved, there still seems to be something wrong with it, so I'm seeing a sports medicine doctor on Friday. I think there's a good chance I have a slight meniscus tear and will need (very minor) offseason surgery. But I've been able to play through it without much pain, especially after awhile.
  2. Most dramatically, a ball hopped up suddenly while I was playing third a bit over a month ago and hit me right in the face. Bridge of the nose. Lotta blood, but if you've ever been hit hard in the nose you know it bleeds a ton even if you don't have any serious injury. That seems to have been the case here: hurt like hell, but I was able to move the nose without pain and it got better over time, so I avoided anything too serious.
  3. Both legs very sore from a double-header yesterday, and apparently I hurt my index finger a bit (possibly from my habit of guarding against high hops my holding my right hand flat towards the ball, so that if it kicks up it slaps the hand and the ball comes right down into the glove. It works well, if your hand is flat it just hurts for a minute and you usually avoid injury and the ball stays in front of you. But it might've caused a modest injury this time.

There's a lot more, of course. Got a bad brush burn in last Tuesday's game and there've been countless little muscle pulls and minor injuries. Really makes me appreciate how hard it is to stick it out for an entire Major League Baseball season, and how necessary it is that some guys take a random day off now and then.

When I played on just two or three teams at a time in some years past, I was always bummed on days I didn't have a game, or days a game got rained out, but these days I'm happy for the break, even while really enjoying the act of playing anyway.

I've been logging all my stats (not perfectly, but pretty accurately), too, so I can run splits and stuff.

Been a lot of fun, and I think it's the kind of thing my body can simply get used to if I do it again next year (pretty likely). Next year I'd probably elect not to run a Saturday team so that I can leave Saturdays open for tournaments, which is a step up even from what I'm doing now, but we'll see.

Right now, I'm just gonna have to hope the minor injuries don't limit me too much tonight. Or in the double header tomorrow. Or in the double header Wednesday. Or the game Thursday.

That elusive hide-and-seek cow is at it again
When I was little, my dad bought me a first baseman's glove and showed me how to oil it and shape it with a ball. But then he had already divorced mom and that was the last athletic lesson he gave me. I eventually ended up in the marching band.

In high school (and this may be a repeat story, sorry. I glanced through the thread to see but I'm pretty sure I've posted it here like so many others that I've forgotten...), I joined my church league team for a year or two. I can't remember. I was crap, as expected, growing up without brothers, neighbors, or much of a male guiding figure, but I was game to play. I rarely got a hit past the baseline. I'd get to first but not as likely to make it to second. I played catcher and couldn't catch for crap. Pretty sure my youth pastor put me there just to give me something to do. Our games were mostly at night and I have astigmatism, so that was a gamble ever seeing the ball through the starring field lights lol. Man. I sucked!

Anyway, the possible repeat of a story was one day at practice I was catching and my friend hit what he thought was a homerun deep into left field. He bolted around first and second, coming up strong rounding third, but then got a bit cocky in his assumption that it was his homerun to claim. Left fielder had by now caught up to the ball and threw it in, passing third or shortstop, directly to me on home plate. My friend was now maybe halfway between third and home just casually bouncing a jog into home. I saw the arc of the ball and new it was going to smack him upside the head so I start yelling HEADS UP. He stopped and, in my distraction, the ball landed about two feet in front of him. Thankfully it missed the back of his skull. Unfortunately for me, it bounced off the line and caught me square in the nether region. No cup that day just practicing hits. Sigh. I'm not sure how many more games I stuck it out, but clearly it wasn't my sport.

Not that any sport is really my sport.
"My Dionne Warwick understanding of your dream indicates that you are ambivalent on how you want life to eventually screw you." - Joel

"Ever try to forcibly pin down a house cat? It's not easy." - Captain Steel

"I just can't get pass sticking a finger up a dog's butt." - John Dumbear

Two more games last night.

Two more today in a few hours.

Then one tomorrow.

Then Friday off for a visit to a sports medicine specialist.

Then another Saturday, and another Sunday.

Played for the first time in a few years this season. Was surprised at how short the season was. We used to play into mid August but its been over for two weeks already and fall ball doesnt start until Sept. Its a dying sport around here.

Ah, bummer. Is that baseball or softball? I'm guessing baseball. In which case it's kinda dying here, at least for grown men. There's youth leagues and then after that you either play in a rare/hardcore men's baseball league, or you play softball.

Speaking of which, game #71 in a little over an hour. We're missing a lot of people this week, and we have a very tough opponent...

There's a pretty solid adult baseball league here but I haven't done that in over twenty years. Couldn't wait to do old guy, over 45 baseball, which I did one year. It was fun but I can't play baseball anymore unless I want to run around the outfield which doesn't interest me.

Our softball league was two leagues merged together just to get to 7 teams. So you end up with a bye week, we had 2 forfeits this year, played only 10 games. There's only about 12 city leagues left, county leagues might be doing better but I doubt it. Seven teams per league seems to be the average. I don't get why it fell off like it did.

I get the impression it varies a lot from region to region. Pittsburgh has a bunch of major schools here so that steady supply of students probably helps keep the softball scene alive.

Anyway, up to 73 games now. Another tonight, one Saturday, one Sunday.

Been getting under the ball again the last few games. Kinda perplexing, though in some cases I wanna say it's random and/or down to some weird pitchers (we faced a guy on Monday who was all over the place). It remains extremely hard to bust out of the low .600s, average-wise. I had a nice run in July but in softball it doesn't take much to counteract that kind of progress. Defensively, though, things have felt great the last week or two.

I also have an MRI today. I've been playing on this injury for months and it's mostly improved, albeit slowly, too slowly for it just to be inflammation, I think. But it seems unlikely I'll get terrible news (IE: stop playing). More likely I'll hear it's a very slight meniscus tear that I can be cautious with and then have surgery for in the offseason. We'll see. Should know more by the end of the week.