We weren't anything to brag about when it came to playing the actual softball games, but we did have one guy who was maybe the best player I've ever seen. He could scoop up a ball on the run from anywhere, and throw from deep in the outfield to hit any plate he wanted right on the button. Plus every time he stepped up to hit it was an automatic extra base hit. Come to think of it, his girlfriend (now wife) was a really good player. The rest of us were just biding our time to prove we were worthwhile at the bar immediately following the mere formality of the actual softball game.
These were the two best moments on the field (because all the other memorable moments were at the bar):
1. One guy's girlfriend (also now wife) had no baseball experience whatsoever, so naturally we put her at catcher. She was one of those people who could never get past pointing the open side of the mit straight up instead of turning the wrist inward so the open hand faces out. You know, so you don't worry about plunking her in the face when you throw to her? Consequently, she was very rarely able to catch much of anything, usually jumping out of the way to avoid getting hurt if you threw to her. For this reason, the pitcher typically covered home in the event of a play at the plate.
|The RIGHT way|
|We would not have challenge the real Strike Force to any athletic event. Except drinking.|
Also, he would yell at the girls when they screwed up. This made us all really mad, and we found ourselves consoling his girls when they would get on the base paths and yelling at him to take it easy. It made for a strange dynamic where the score of the game didn't matter; all that really mattered was that this a-hole drop dead. Then there was another line drive single hit out to center field to our one good player who came up firing the ball towards home plate as Captain A-Hole ran home from third. Boom! The ball plunked him square in the back, and he winced in pain as he scored the run. None of us gave a damn that he scored. In fact, we were all cheering him getting hit with a ball. You see, our guy is good enough to have gotten him out. He chose to peg him in the back from fifty yards; He was that good. It could very well have been the single most impressive athletic achievement I have ever seen and certainly the most rewarding.
We lost that game and many others that season, but again, in the bar we were champions. I will never forget the two highest point-getters were a table tapper of Saint Pauli Girl, and a bottle of Tsingtao, a horribly skunky Chinese beer that led to wicked hangovers the following Friday morning. Win or lose, our table would be littered with table tappers and buckets upon buckets of the green Chinese death juice: Tsingtao. Then we would all text each other the next day how General Tsingtao had beaten us down with yet another crippling hangover. But we would do it all again the following Thursday for the good of the team because champions fight through adversity.
I remember one bye week (a week where our team didn't play) I still went up to the bar to make sure we at least got a few points. I brought a girl with me who wasn't a heavy drinker. She could only muscle down one Tsingtao that I insisted she order, and I powered back the other four in the bucket.
In the final week of the season we were eliminated from any chance of winning on the field, but we were very much in the running to win at the drinking. The only team who had a chance at catching us was the arch rival team. To make sure we beat those jerks we set up an evite (remember those?) and got all our drinking buddies up there. We let all our friends know that if they helped us win, they would all be invited to the free party we would earn on a Saturday night for $500 of free boozy fun! There were five or six tables full of friends for that last night to earn points, and some of those friends were very tangential. We were marketing wizards and very heavy drinkers.
|And we "must have" bought a hundred that night.|
I can't run around the bases as fast anymore, I certainly can't drink that much on a Thursday these days, but I can always can look back on that summer as one of the best of my life. Let's put it this way, If someone asked me right now if I would rather be the first man on Mars or be transported back to the summer of 2005 to watch that guy get pegged with a softball in the back and tip back some celebratory horribly skunky Tsingtao, I would have to give it some serious, serious thought.