The other night I likely played my last game as a regular playing softball. And it ended in quite a bizarre manner. Members of our team intentionally dropped balls they had caught in protest of the team we were playing against. We were down 18-1, yet the other team was still trying to run up the score. They were screaming and running the bases like it was a tie game of the finals. Yet the results of this game were inconsequential. Neither of us were going to advance. So instead of a friendly match that we both enjoyed, it turned into an unsportsmanlike match to stroke their egos. The only positive during the game was the first play where I hit a triple then scored on the next play. I think we were lucky if we got another 5 hits during the rest of the game.

At the end of last season, I was seriously thinking of hanging it up, but our team had been promoted to a more advanced division and I did not want to leave them when they needed me. But I’m finding that fitting 20 softball games into the course of the summer has monopolized too many of the rain-free days. Now with two young kids, I feel those evenings should be spent at home. Plus when any additional work is needed from our employers, we are left with very little “good weather” time together.

That’s not to say I haven’t lost interest in team sports. I really enjoy playing. It’s partly for the skill involved, partly for the interaction with the other players, and partly for how it exercises part of the brain. These games are as much about skill as they are about strategy. Analyzing to how a play is transpiring and reacting to determine where you will be of best use. As pitcher, you tend to be the person who has no defined role after the ball is thrown. Do I go behind first base in case a ball is overthown? Do I run to third in order to cover for the third baseman who is fielding the ball? Or in volleyball, the person next to you is going up for a block, where do you best position yourself for where the ball can possibly be hit back? In truth, I enjoy much more the thinking and strategy aspects of sports as opposed to the feats of talent.

But there is a slim possibility I might play next year. If there is a solid team and my presense is not required as often, I may consider it. Having won only one game this year was kinda tough. But right now if I do play sports, it will be volleyball during the cold months since there is less interest to go outside.


~ by Frank on August 16, 2007.

4 Responses to “Retirement”

  1. Go play volleyball in the summer: Parc Jeanne Mance has a dedicated field to it (south of Duluth by Park).
    There is always a net dedicated to free gamers. Every one is welcome, it’s competitive in any way. And if you are good enough, you can play on the other nets (screamage).

  2. Thanks, Raoul. Beach volleyball is probably my favorite team sport. A great workout and plenty of opportunities to through yourself on the ground. Maybe after the kids get older I’ll try it out.

  3. I used to enjoy steel darts when your Uncle Pat started a league. It was great fun. Mostly family, good cheer and some friendly competitiveness but still just for fun. Then we advanced to the next level and while at a tournament the other team started gloating and routing our team, That was my last game. I didn’t need that in something I was in for pleasure. Never played another league game and i don’t regret it one bit. Move on to something else that still gets you the exercise and is fun! life is full of enough frustrations.

  4. Yes, life is too short to deal with that kind of behavior.

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