Reader’s back on the diamond!

Reader here, and it’s that time of year again, when I dig out the mitt and the cleats, and get back out on the diamond for another slow-pitch season.

One of my favourites, made by my artistic former co-worker Brendan Wagner. and the closest I’ll come to being a pro with a card of my very own!

Our team, the “Sons of Pitches,” actually played our first doubleheader of the season on Friday night at Jubilee Park, and won ’em both, by scores of 14-4 and 15-14.

Now that we’re 2-0 to start the season we may have created unreasonable expectations for success! Haha!

I’ve actually spent more years as a grown-up playing rec slow-pitch, than I ever spent playing ball as a kid.

I played T-Ball and a couple of years of baseball (as a catcher – I loved wearing the gear), but over time, I got away from it.

It wasn’t until I moved to Saskatoon, and began working at Revelstoke (later Rona) Home Centre, and we had a staff team for a couple of years, that I got back out on the diamond.

Then, when I moved to Yorkton, we had a team at the station, and I joined up right away.

That team lasted for several years, and as it gradually wound down, I found myself as a free agent.

I played with another team for a summer, but it wasn’t as much fun as hitting the field with my best pals, who had started up another team, the aforementioned “SOP,” which includes many friends who are former station employees, and our larger circle of friends.

My tools of the trade, proudly representing the “Sons of Pitches!”

There’s been a few faces come and go over the years, but we’re a team that gets along really well, for one simple reason: we win some, we lose some, but we ALWAYS have a good time!

Our crowning achievement was winning the Yorkton Slow-Pitch League B-Side championship back in 2021.

We kind of have a tradition of going “one and out” in the playoffs, losing our first playoff game, so we definitely celebrated in ’21!

Am I any good? Well, I’m passable.

Let’s just say I know my limitations. I have a lousy arm. If you put my out in the field, I need one cut-off man to get the ball in to the actual cut-off man. But, I’m decent enough with my mitt, and 9 times out of 10, if you fire it my way, or the ball’s hit in my direction, I’ll make the play. That’s why I play first base – not a lot of throwing involved!

On offence, I’m anything but a power hitter. I hit what we call the “trademark.” If you need a single between second base and shortstop, I’m your guy. A pretty easy scouting report if you’re an opposing fielder. That seems to be all I can ever hit. But if it moves the runners around and I cash in a few runs, that’s all I’m worried about.

In fact, the only home run I’ve ever hit was one of the few times I managed to pull the ball down the right field line (I’m a right-handed batter, so everything tends to go toward left field), and it went all the way to the fence, and I chugged my way all the way around to score an inside-the-parker. Not gonna lie… I may have needed some oxygen after that one! Haha!

In the end, though, It’s just good to get out on the diamond, hang out with friends, be active, and have a good time.

I’m a little older now, and have to spend more time stretching out pre and post-game. In my mind, I’m still in my athletic prime of 17 or even 27. But I’ll be 47 this summer, and the recovery takes a little longer.

I’ll keep playing for as long as I can, though. I don’t want to give up any physical activity – it’s important to stay moving and keep active, and it’s just plain fun!

So, we’ll see what the summer brings, and how we do! Let’s have some fun!

Put me in, Coach! I’m ready to play!

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