Sunday, November 2, 2008


I feel the hot sting on the palm of my hand as the baseball strikes my glove. There is the whiz of the ball through the air and the loud pop as the ball smacks my thinly gloved hand. My hand is going to be sore tomorrow.

I don’t like playing catcher. My brother always throws too hard. I try to catch the ball properly, in the web pocket, but it sometimes still strikes my palm. There’s never enough padding in the palm. We don’t have a catcher’s mitt. I have to use my regular fielder’s mitt. I bet a catcher’s mitt would have more padding in the palm.

I can smell the tanned leather with its slight tinge of glove oil. I roll the hard slightly scuffed white leather ball with its red stitching in my hand. I’m squatting down in the catcher’s stance so I rise to throw the ball back.

I’m no good at throwing the ball. I can’t throw very far. I’m bigger and stronger than most of the other kids, but I can’t throw the ball very far. It’s embarrassing. When I play left field, and they always stick the worst players in left field, I haul back and throw it with all my might and it always falls short. I shrink inside and my face feels hot from the jeers and the groans of my playmates.

It will not be until years later that I will learn that the secret is not in the strength of your arm or your shoulder, but in the snap of your wrist. “It’s all in the wrist,” they’ll say.

I wish my dad (or someone) had taught me how to throw a ball. My dad had no interest in sports and I grew up with very little interest in them, either.

Starsky and Hutch have been watching the World Series on TV. It occurs to me that I don’t even know which teams are playing. Doesn’t really matter. That’s the thing about sports. It doesn’t really matter. They tell us that people are starving in Africa, but all anyone seems to care about is, “Who won the big game?” It doesn’t really matter. There will be another big game tomorrow, or next week or next year.

Still, I wish my dad had taught me how to throw a ball.


Fizzlemed said...

1) Welcome back
2) Thank god I don't have to look at that ugly baby any more
3) Ditto on the ball throwing. I still can't do it.
4) I didn't figure out the wrist thing until 7th grade when I started playing volleyball.

Michael Morse said...

Its in the wrist! Damn.

Neumed said...

Ah, tis good to be back. Now if I can just keep up the momentum.

Suthacha_Xiang Mei said...

It seem not easy to throw the ball far...

Don't worry Neumed,
nobody is perfect in everything... i'm not a good sporter neither..

but u're a good carpenter, right?? haha just kidding..

absolutely, you're my nice friend

Thanks for your return, think of you much