Thursday, September 03, 2009


Over the past three years, I have attended well over 100 baseball practices. Morning practice, afternoon practice, night practice. I have woken up for 6 AM practices, and come home eafter 10 PM from the field from other practices. I have taken part in two a days, four hour sessions, and pitched thousands of baseballs in batting practice.

Tonight I went to another baseball practice, but for the first time ever, it was as a player, and not a coach. At 35, I have finally joined a team.

When I was a kid I wanted to play in the Oak Park little league. My parents did not want me to play then. Sometimes I was told that the sport was dangerous, other times the reason was Friday night games. Whatever the reason, instead of playing hard ball with the city little league I played soft ball in the shul league.

I have played, though. A few times. Pick up games. But I never imagined I get to play in a league, with umpires and team shirts and baseball pants and dugouts and all the other things that come with an official league. And then, a few weeks ago, while playing catch between two games of a double header in Arrezzo, I decided it was my turn to play. I was going to give up coaching the national team, and take one year to play baseball.

When I left to practice, my biggest fear was that I would embarrass myself. The fear was heightened when I saw some of the players at practice, including the 20-year old head coach who I went to Italy with last month.

I was worried that ground balls would go through my legs, that my throws would run wild, and all I would manage at the plate was a feeble ground ball, if I even made that much contact. Fortunately, none of that happened. There was some balls I should caught during infield drills, and some throws I need to put more mustard on to get them to third base, but overall, not very embarrassing. Even a few line drives to the outfield when I stepped up to the plate.

The guys on the team were great to hang out with, and I am looking forward to our first exhibition game on Tuesday, followed by our first regular season game on Thursday.

But before I do that, I have to get ready for Little League practice tomorrow.


Blogger sabarich said...

Yay, Arye! No Friday night games here! Keep letting us know how you are doing...just take it easy out there...and don't try too hard to keep up with the kids!

The Shver

September 03, 2009 6:52 PM  
Blogger Mordechai Cohen said...

Veev - first football and now baseball. I hope you do not end up with a bloody nose again.

Unless this is Arye using your login . . . .

September 04, 2009 12:47 PM  
Blogger Veev said...

Nope, it was Air. I don't do baseball. Right now I bowl.

September 05, 2009 1:51 PM  
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