My life in baseball
Before I get rolling, will some legal-type person tell me if I can get in trouble for writing a fake Alan Rickman blog? I know, I know -- I'm ruining the magic. But this way, I do get credit for convincing Maureen to take her clothes off.Yes, I had a bat, and yes, my teensy mitt swam over my teensier fingers. Maybe my dad or my brother taught me how to hit and catch, but if they did, I don't remember it. I do remember being the last kid picked for a team, always, regardless of the sport -- even kickball. And I wasn't even half bad at kickball. Elementary school softball: nearly every time at bat, I would strike out. I'd pray the ball would hit me, because then I'd get the walk. Invariably, the team captains made me an outfielder. The other outfielder knew that if the ball popped my way, he would have to catch it or there would be a home run for sure. That went on all through elementary school and junior high school. In high school, we had several options for physical education. I took weight training every time, which allowed me to hang out with the stoners and the cholos and the ninja-wannabes -- other guys who hated team sports as much as I did. My people. I thought I had escaped the horrors of baseball, but in 10th grade I became involved in the B'nai B'rith Youth Organization. Our parents thought BBYO was a youth group designed to help nice young Jewish boys meet nice young Jewish girls. In reality, BBYO helped me meet other nice young Jewish boys who shared my burgeoning interest in pot and alcohol. But, wouldn't you know it, the bastards liked to play baseball on the weekends. Week after week, I dodged the invitation, and they would manage to round out their numbers by asking cousins, little brothers, or that kid across town who did pretty good in the Special Olympics. But one weekend, I couldn't escape; they made it a point of honor. I'd be letting my brothers down. And I thought: You're going to guilt trip me? You sons of bitches. I'll teach you what it means to let you down. They figured it out by the end of the first inning. By the third inning, their oft-repeated refrain had become music to my ears. I've repeated it to my son and my OR nurses -- it never fails to get a laugh. Thanks guys. I can still hear your warm words of encouragement.
***My hatred for team sports is deep and abiding. Wait, let me qualify that. I used to enjoy watching team sports. As a ten-year-old, I liked going to high school football or basketball games, for I had discovered that I was the perfect height to collide with shorter high school girls' breasts. Crowds, man. They're a bitch. Participation, that's what got me down. I grew up at a time when sports defined the boy, and I had a narrow definition indeed. To appreciate my problem, one needs a sense of proportion.
HOFFMAN, YOU SUCK!D.