Driving past the very active North Compo Little League fields recently, I flashed back to my own baseball experience, all those years ago.
Sorry — I didn’t mean that. I should have said: I really sucked.
I loved baseball. I truly did. I just couldn’t play it.
Despite years of experience with the cul-de-sac pastime called “running bases,” and plenty of impromptu recess games at Burr Farms Elementary, the organized version of Little League lost me.
I remember being assigned each year to Cap League teams, finally making the minors as a 12-year-old charity case.
I recall standing endlessly in right field, knowing that the rare ball that came my way would never land in my upraised glove. (This was in the pre-contact lens, pre-pre-Lasek surgery days).
And I will never forget standing at home plate, happily trying to follow the coach’s instructions to not swing — “just get a walk.” I was 2-foot-1, so the advice was wise. Still, even 9-year-old pitchers managed to throw with Sandy Koufax-like accuracy against me. I can’t recall ever making it all the way to first.
Going to Yankee Stadium was fun. Going to the Coleytown Elementary field was not.
I still like the game, particularly because it offers such a leisurely opportunity to second-guess strategy, look ahead to the next inning, and answer email.
I’m not anti-baseball. I’m just pro-not-playing-a-sport-I-suck-at.