Since we're bored I'll share another story.
The year was 2005 and I had just returned from spending a year in Afghanistan and was happy to be back in Hawaii with my family. Obviously I had not played in over a year when I found a local men's 18 and over team looking for players.
With the itch to play again and a desire to try out my new "PRK fixed" eyes, I came out of "forced retirement/military service" at 35 years old. The team ended up being pretty good even though we ran out of pitching occasionally and I had to pitch, which is never a good long term fix for any team (haha). I mostly played outfield and some second base for this team and we ended up in the playoffs.
Even though I was one of the older players on the team, I typically hit leadoff and was having a pretty good year hitting well over .350 with an on base percentage close to .500 (I walked a lot and rarely struck out).
Let's fast forward to the semi-finals game with the winner getting a chance to play under the lights in downtown Honolulu on this beautifully manicured field. Down by two in the bottom of the 6th inning (we played 7 inning games), with runners on 1st and 2nd and two outs, I drive the ball to right center, knocking in both runs to tie the game while ending up on 3rd after a play at the plate.
Feeling fast, and perhaps all hyped up after my game tying triple, I noticed the left-handed pitcher was not paying any attention to me at third. I kept faking like I would steal home and would have to stop myself because I realize I was almost half way down the line and no one on that team was saying anything about me.
So that's when I decided I was going to do it. I had tried to steal home since Pony League ball when was 15 years old, but dammit, there I went. Head down, arms pumping, I knew I was going to steal home and we would be ahead with just an inning to go. With about 15 feet to go and before I could start to slide, I saw the catcher stand up and get ready to catch the ball. We had a no contact rule so as he caught the ball, I decided to try and reach my foot out to touch the plate before he could tag me.
Unfortunately for me, I was running at full speed and when my foot landed on the side of the plate and in the dirt, my cleats caught and my momentum twisted my knee as I fell face first into the dirt. As I fell, I felt one of the worse pains in my life as it felt like someone had just chopped my leg of at the knee. My teammates eventually helped my off the field and we actually ended up winning the next inning anyways so we were heading to the Championship.
Even though it was my right knee, I drove myself home, but made the mistake of not going straight to the hospital. After an awful painful night on the couch (so I could keep my leg straight and on ice) my wife had to enlist me neighbor to help me to the car so she could take me to the Hospital.
My leg was so swollen they couldn't do an MRI, but the doctor was pretty sure I tore my meniscus and most likely my ACL. He gave me some pain meds, and told me to come back for an MRI in a week when the swelling went down.
So here's my dilemma. We had this championship game to play and I wanted to play.
The championship game was two days later and I couldn't put any weight on my leg so it looked bleak. Luckily for me, two days later I was able to walk on it and I even tried to jog in a straight line which I did with tolerable pain levels.
I show up and convince the manager I can DH and then will use a courtesy runner if I get on. He kinda looked at me like I was nuts, but I showed him that I could run at about 1/3 speed down the line and took batting practice to show that I could hit on it. I just hid the excruciating pain when I pushed off my back leg (haha).
In my mind, my knee was already torn up so screw it, it was just pain. I think I took 1600MG of Motrin to try and dull it some.
So sure enough, he lets me play and I end up going 2-for-3 with a walk and two RBIs, and even convinced him to let me play an inning at 2B after the fill in made two dumb plays that cost us runs. That was really stupid because I tried to go back and catch a popup and thought someone had shot me in the knee again.
We end up winning the championship by a run, and a few months later I was in the operating room getting my Meniscus and ACL fixed.
It was also the last time I even even thought about stealing home again!
I don't care what anyone says, I like him on the postgame broadcasts. He's a hardass but for good reason...he had a hard road to the majors and it wasn't easy for him when he got there.