FIRST BASE IS HARD (That’s what she said…)

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Last night, my co-ed adult softball team had their 3rd game, my 2nd (I missed the first one because I was too busy eating Pringles and drinking beers on the sandy beaches of Siesta Key).

We won our first game, the one I wasn’t a part of. I think it’s because I wasn’t there that we won. I am definitely the Bambino of this team. I can make some good plays, but I’m the cursed player that won’t allow us to win as long as I’m around. That’s ok with me though, I’m not there to win, and neither is about 80% of my team. We’re just there to have a good time and go drink beer and eat bar food at Sandbar afterwards.

Last week, during my first game the whole team was there, so I was able to sit on the bench for a few innings which was nice and relaxing. When I did go in I mostly played the outfield and even caught a fly ball that I definitely thought I was going to drop. I’m pretty sure everyone thought that. In the end we lost, pretty badly. We celebrated the game at Sandbar though and I won in pool and the hook on the wall game, so I went 2 for 3. Not bad for my first week of softball.

Last night, I had to play first base, because our other possible first basemen or women were not there, or don’t exist. I think I did an OK job, except for the time I ran into a girl’s face (more on that later). It wasn’t my fault, but it kind of was. There’s too many things you have to think about when playing first base.

It all starts with the batter. You have to watch them at all times, and make sure that if they do make contact it doesn’t come your way. If the ball starts flying in your direction it’s panic mode, which is how I ran into this poor girl’s face with my face.

The girl was a righty, so I thought, she won’t hit it to me. I was wrong, she must have hit the ball at a weird angle because it rolled right at me. I had to move away from the bag to get it, so I then ran full speed at the base to tag it and make the out. When I started towards the base I was looking straight down to make sure to get my foot on it. I didn’t look up again until it was too late.

When I picked my head up I noticed that I was about to run straight into this woman, who was running at full speed at me. We collided on the base and I’m pretty sure she did a Willie Beamon “Any Given Sunday” flip before landing on the ground. I helped her up and told her I was sorry about 23 times. She was out, so I guess something good came out of that. I made the play.

On to the next one, once the ball has been hit you have to make a decision. (a) Do I go after the ball, or (b) do I run to the base and wait for someone to throw it at me? It all goes by very quickly, there’s no time to think. Then, if you run for the ball you have to remember to run back to tag the base, and also try not to crash into the runner, as I did in the first step.

If you ran to the base you just wait. Wait, and hope someone makes a good throw to you. About 61% of the throws to first are ok, but those other 39% are tricky and can really hurt someone, especially me. Playing first base is like playing paintball, except instead of small balls filled with fake paint someone is throwing a large softball at you, which isn’t very soft at all.

If you successfully make the catch someone is out, unless they are really fast and already made it to the base, but that’s not where it ends. Now you have to look around and make sure other runners aren’t pulling any shenanigans. Check home. See if anyone is running there. Look at the rest of the bases. Look back to the guy on first, if that person is there.

All good, throw it to the pitcher and start all over again. Overall, I think I was an alright first baseman and I would do it again if they needed me to. I may need some practice for racing to the base without smashing into the runner.

I think next week we will get the W! Or we won’t and we’ll still go to sandbar and catch Pokemon after the game.

I basically just explained how baseball works, but I do have a lot of foreigner friends who may not know. I hope you enjoyed this, and I’ll be back next week with more learnings and stuff.

Smell ya later…


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