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Tony-OH

Talk about YOUR baseball "career"

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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 convinced the manager I could DH and then he could 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! :D

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My father once played slow pitch softball in a Men's over 60 League.   Most of the guys can still hit and throw, but as we get old, we lose our ability to run.   Once my father drilled a line drive to right center that looked like a good, clean, hit... until the Right Fielder threw him out at first base.   

I yelled, "Dad, that's embarrassing... getting thrown out at first on a hit to Right Center like that!"

 

He said, "You missed last week... they threw me out on a hit to Left Center...."....

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The only baseball I played was a family game we would play at our vacation cabin. We didnt have enough to field teams so we would each hit until we made an out. If we got a hit we would call out "ghostman on first" etc, then get back up to hit. If you get a hit your ghostman advances. With only three fielders, any out was a major event.

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I've never played organized baseball but have played many games of slow-pitch softball and a half-game of fast pitch softball.  I do recall my brother facing Cal Eldred in a HS playoff game. Didn't go well. 

My fastpitch SB story: I played on a dorm floor team at Iowa State.  Our first game was snowed out, our second game was rained out and our third game was snowed out so we began in the playoffs. Our first batter got a single and then was ruled out for taking a lead - not permitted.  We were then held hitless by a female pitcher who had clearly pitched in HS until I came in half way through the game and ripped a double that rolled to the fence on the first pitch I saw.  My only at bat.  We lost the game and so ended my fast pitch SB career. 

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(Reposted from 2018 thread)

High school for me. I made my varsity team as a freshmen and played four years of varsity ball. I rode the bench my freshman season but started the final three years. I capped it off by being named MVP my senior season. But I had no illusions because I didn't have the body frame to advance from there. I did have the privilege of playing against some outstanding talent in high school. Lou Whitaker (Detroit Tigers) was in our league. As was Roy Clark (AAA for Seattle until injuries ended his career). Talmadge Tanks was signed by Kansas City. Jeff Musser led the ACC in hitting for Virginia. Several other really good talents.

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17 hours ago, Tony-OH said:

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.

Tearing my ACL was some of the worst pain I've ever felt.  Both times.

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2 hours ago, DrungoHazewood said:

Tearing my ACL was some of the worst pain I've ever felt.  Both times.

Yeah, I don't recommend it either! ;) 

 

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Played little league from fourth to sixth grade.  Was never very good at bat, and couldn't pitch, but a decent fielder.  I remember a few things like one time at third base I nabbed a hard line drive out of the air .  Also one time playing catcher I gunned down a runner trying to steal second.  There was a guy at third and they tried a double steal.  Throw was there, but he trucked me and the ball came loose.   About seventh grade you start switching to the 75' diamond and it started getting serious with travel teams and it was too much.   Didn't play organized sports until high school football as a freshman.

Edited by GuidoSarducci

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On 4/2/2020 at 7:23 AM, DrungoHazewood said:

Tearing my ACL was some of the worst pain I've ever felt.  Both times.

Yup, I'll second that.  It's instant pain.  Then feels like you re-tear it every time you make that same move.  Torn both mine, both playing basketball, and then opted to hold off on surgery to play baseball with a brace on.  The push moves you make at 3rd are really tough on a torn ACL.

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19 minutes ago, MarCakes21 said:

Yup, I'll second that.  It's instant pain.  Then feels like you re-tear it every time you make that same move.  Torn both mine, both playing basketball, and then opted to hold off on surgery to play baseball with a brace on.  The push moves you make at 3rd are really tough on a torn ACL.

After I tore one of mine, before it was fixed, I went to a Virginia Tech football game. Big play happened, everyone jumps up, I land slightly awkardly and *bam*.  Shooting pain in my knee.  Agony. 

That also happened after tear #2, when my regular doc was on reserve duty, and backup doc said "I don't think you really tore anything, just rest for a week or two and go back to playing soccer." Like a minute into my first game back, same thing, shooting pain in the knee.  Went back to the backup doc, got an MRI, and whatta you know, he said it was the cleanest ACL tear he'd ever seen.

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il_fullxfull.1743195616_3mpd.jpg

 

Never played organized sports.  In my youth, Dad was an alcoholic and Mom did anything she could to keep the family together.  I would just go off by myself with a piece of wood and imitate O's games.  I had every batting stance from each everyday player down to a tee.  And just like "Stankee Classics", the O's won every time.

Fortunately, Dad checked himself into AA when I was 14 (?), and never had another drink for the remaining 25 years of his life.  And, it is passed down.  The other 5 siblings are drinkers, but only 2 are full blown alchies.  I haven't had anything in 10+ years and don't miss it.

And probably that's why:

ssrco,unisex_tshirt,womens,322e3f:696a94

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I played up to when I was 16.  Couldn’t hit a lick but caught everything hit closes to me.   Turned into a pitcher and could throw the ball up into the eighties at 16.   The coach  I had was more interested in getting to the bar after the game so everything I learned was on my own.  My junior year in high school my buddies talked me into playing lacrosse where i dislocated my right shoulder and could never throw a ball over 50 mph after that. 

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I grew up in upstate New York but have been an Oriole fan since I was about seven years old.  There weren’t a lot of other Oriole fans in the area.

The highlight of my ballplaying career came between my junior and senior years in high school, while I was attending a summer program at Cornell University.  A couple of intramural softball games were organized for the summer students, with the teams organized according to the dorms in which we lived.

Before the first game, the captain asked what position everyone would like to play.  I said I’d prefer first base, but another fellow also said he’d prefer first base.  Turned out he was the All-Star first baseman for his high school league in Maryland.  I couldn’t match those credentials, so the captain put me at second base.  I’d never played much second base, but at least I had some idea of the fundamental things a second baseman should do.

There came a situation where the other team had a runner on first with one out and a weak hitter at the plate.  The hitter swung and produced a dinky little popup in front of the plate, not very high.  The pitcher charged in, the catcher charged out, and I realized there was a possibility that they could collide and the ball could drop.  But I also realized that the runner couldn’t leave first until he saw whether the ball was going to be caught or not.  I moved to cover second, because if the ball was dropped, we could still have a chance for a force play.

The pitcher and catcher collided and the ball dropped.  The runner started from first and I hollered “Second!  Second!”

The pitcher heard me, grabbed the ball, and made a hurried throw.  The throw was on line and in plenty of time, but it was low, and I could see it was going to get to me on the short hop.

I got down on one knee, so that if I didn’t catch the ball, I could at least block it and keep it on the infield.  But I kept my toe on the base in case I did catch it.

Well, I caught it.  The runner was out.

The pitcher and catcher congratulated me on a good play.  So did the third baseman and shortstop.  But the compliment I will always treasure came from the first baseman – the guy from Maryland.

He looked at me and said, “Man – you played that one like an Oriole.”

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On 4/4/2020 at 10:19 AM, DrungoHazewood said:

After I tore one of mine, before it was fixed, I went to a Virginia Tech football game. Big play happened, everyone jumps up, I land slightly awkardly and *bam*.  Shooting pain in my knee.  Agony. 

That also happened after tear #2, when my regular doc was on reserve duty, and backup doc said "I don't think you really tore anything, just rest for a week or two and go back to playing soccer." Like a minute into my first game back, same thing, shooting pain in the knee.  Went back to the backup doc, got an MRI, and whatta you know, he said it was the cleanest ACL tear he'd ever seen.

Pretty good.  I did the same thing under my own evaluation on my tear #2.  Said, didn't hurt as bad as last time, so two weeks rest then play basketball again.  I played another game, it was ugly and painful, and I couldn't even get 2 inches off the ground for a layup.  Decided at that point that it probably was my ACL.  Stubborn.

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Warmed the bench for a couple of seasons on the JV team in High School.  I peaked in Little League at age 12 when I made the All-Stars - I was an RBI machine, lol.  It was all downhill from there, lol.

Now I feel like Al Bundy.  🙂

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