Embarrassment, redemption, and tumbling filled my time with the baseball team at practice this month, as I attempted to use my past baseball experience to help me get through the practice smoothly.
I was not a stranger to baseball, as I had played in a recreational league for several years as a child. Unfortunately, this past experience didn’t really show up initially as I made several members of the team run and chase balls that I had thrown terribly. Severely embarrassed as I certainly knew how to throw a baseball, I moved on to the next activity during practice: outfield work.
The first drill, involving picking up ground balls from the outfield, was relatively easy, and I was able to breeze through it without any mistakes; but then came the fly balls.
The first two hit me hard, both literally and emotionally. Two routine fly balls led to two routine drops. I was able to track them down and get under the ball like I was supposed to, but both of them hit my glove right in the pocket and fell out. The rest of the team all laughed as I tried to laugh it off as well.
When the third ball came, I finally found redemption. I tracked the ball, got under it, used two hands and made a clean catch. The whole team cheered for me, yelling, “The third time’s the charm!”
We then moved on to the next drill, which included catching fly balls on the run. I continued my hot streak of about two catches in a row and was able to prove to the team that I might have very minimal leftover baseball talent.
Then, a surprising twist arose and the team and I saw what ended up being the funniest moment of the day. Junior Zachariah Chou, was running across the field taking pictures when a fly ball was coming his way. The entire team yelled as he didn’t see it coming and did not have a glove to catch it. Rather than covering his head or ducking out of the way, Chou proceeded to flip and roll across the grass, barely escaping the incoming baseball.
After this little break for comic relief, we went on to batting. I managed to put up an average performance in my first set of swings but a terribly abysmal performance in the second set. After a few more turns, it was time to play a little game. We were split into two teams and had a hitting competition. Surprisingly I went two for two, but my team still went on to lose the game, and we suffered clean-up duty.
We finished picking up all the balls and headed back to the dugout, where I said thank you and goodbye to the players and coaches. Although I had played baseball before, I certainly had my fair share of embarrassment throughout the day but enjoyed my time with the team and hope to play baseball a little more frequently in the future, possibly stealing a spot on the team next year.