One Last Shot – Season 3, Post 8: The Dogged Days of Summer
by Paul Semendinger
August 11, 2021
Time. It is always the enemy of an aging athlete.
Things had been going so well, and then I fell victim of time.
After my great outing at the end of June, as summer beckoned and I imagined a glorious summer of ball playing, time came in and wrecked a lot. Time wreaked havoc on my season.
Well, maybe it was time and old(er) age.
Or, time, older age, and rain.
Where to begin?
My great nine-inning complete game came on June 24. I was on top of the world.
Due to the July 4 holiday, there wasn’t a game again, for either of the baseball teams I am on, until July 13. This two-week break brought some frustration. I did not want a respite. I wanted to build on my success.
It also brought an injury – a non-baseball injury. Somehow I slept the wrong way, or something, and popped a rib. Have you ever popped a rib? It’s not pleasant. I couldn’t throw. I was in pain. It was miserable.
My next game would have been July 11, but I was asked to serve as the minister at my church on that day and had agreed. (You can read my sermon here.)
I still wasn’t able to throw for the game on on July 13.
The next opportunity to pitch was a game on July 15. My chiropractor fixed the rib and such, but there was lingering discomfort. Still, I was determined to gut it out if needed. I went to the game… and wasn’t needed.
Next, on July 18, we were rained out.
I missed the July 22 game to do a book signing in Delaware.
What was to be a glorious summer of baseball was slipping away…
My season was going down the drain.
I finally got a chance to pitch again on July 25. I hadn’t thrown much due to the injury, the rain, and the fact that Ethan and my schedules just didn’t coincide. In retrospect, I should have thrown into my net in the basement, but I didn’t want to push myself as I battled through the soreness.
By the time I took the mound on July 25, I had less than nothing.
I lasted two innings.
As the starter.
Then there were more rainouts.
More missed games.
And more missed weeks.
For the month of July, I pitched a grand total of two innings. That wasn’t how I envisioned the month going.
The month that I figured I’d be pitching so much that I might end up hurting my arm was the month I threw all of two innings.
On August 1, we played, finally.
We had only nine guys and it wasn’t my turn to start, so I played shortstop (uneventfully).
The other team was short players, so the game was a forfeit , but we still played in sort of a scrimmage, just a chance to play our best ball and get a game in. Both teams gave it our all. They were a little short, but their pitchers were good, as was ours. Still we headed into the last inning down.
I pitched the top of the last inning. It went well. It went great, in fact: Strikeout, Strikeout, Flyout.
In the bottom of the inning, with us down by one, I came up with one out and runners on second and third. I drove a two-run single up the middle to “win” the game for us.
It may have been a scrimmage, but I’ll take it! We played real baseball, and we won, and I pitched a solid inning and drove home the tying and winning runs.
We were away on August 8, so I missed that game, but I have a big game coming up…
I hope this game will be one for the ages!
More on that in the next post!
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