Shades of Willie Mays

Thursday was our second softball game of the year. Hopes were pretty high, as we’d played quite well last week. We were again playing visitor, so we batted first. I was leading off, and took 3 straight balls that weren’t even close, so I got the walk (you start with a 1-1 count, for those of you that were confused.) Jplant headed up next, and was also issued a free pass. So far so good. Jeff and I both ended up scoring, and we ended our half of the inning with a few runs. So far so good.

Bottom part of the inning: with one on, the batter smacks a tailing liner to the outfield. Jplant had a jump on it, and was running in to make the play. The ball hung a bit more than expected and caught his glove awkwardly, bouncing up and right into his face. There was a very sickening *smack/crack* sound, and he went down hard. Not sure what to do, I headed out, and got the cut off from Mark, and time was called, and we rushed out to find Jeff bleeding like a madman from his nose. We stood around for quite some time.. someone got some paper towels, and we eventually got an ice pack (that people seemed far too afraid to pop, so no one would break the chemical bag thinger to make it get all cold. Finally someone declared it was broken, and handed it to Melles, who had been asking for it since the thing arrived.. he grabbed it, squeezed it, and got it turning cold. Woo for Brian). So after some time, Jeff was well enough to at least stand, and the bleeding had slowed (and I had run out of phrases from MVP Baseball 2004 to say .. [“Shades of Willie Mays“])… So we walked him to the bench… He seemed okay.. mainly pissed that he wasn’t going to play the rest of the game. (Gamer –> The type of person who, after getting clocked in the face, with a possible broken nose, and in a decent amount of pain, is mainly pissed about not getting to bat again.)

We had 11 guys show up, so with Jplant out, we were using all our guys out in the field. We made the rule that no one else could get injured. We got out of the inning after giving up a few runs. I believe at that point we were tied. The next few innings continued much the same: we’d score a few, then they’d catch up, and perhaps pass us in the bottom part of the inning. A few of the highlights that stood out to me:

A “controversial” play [at least they bitched about it a fair bit]. 1 out, men at 2nd and third (might have been loaded, but I didn’t think so.), and they’re batting. The batter popped a long flyout to center. The guy at third tagged up and headed home. The guy at 2nd headed to third. We get the ball back in to the infield, and Melles tells us to go to second with it, so we do, and the runner is called out (turns out he didn’t tag up). Double play, and the run didn’t count. Well, that run not counting got a few people on their team all pissed off, and they seemed to bring it up every inning or so, having people look in the rule books, etc.. Whatever. It was a good play, and I was pleased.

I believe the bases were loaded [but it might have been just 1st and 3rd], and one out [They were batting]. Joel was manning 2nd and I had Shortstop for the game. The batter snapped a sharp grounder between first and second, which Joel headed over [moving towards first] to field. He got it, and rose facing first, and I yelled out “Joel”. He turns and fires a strike to second as I’m crossing the base, drag my foot across and whip it to first for the 4-6-3 double play, ending the inning and preventing the run from scoring. It was a real bang-bang-bang play that just seemed to flow seamlessly. Very, very nice.

I walked my first two at bats, and I wasn’t getting a single pitch to swing at… and if you’ve played slow pitch softball, you know that while a walk is helpful to the team, it’s really, really boring to just take walks all the time. Well, my third at bat, [and my second at bat for that matter] one of the fielders (I think it was short) was chanting to the effect of “this guy doesn’t swing the bat” and “what’s the point of coming if you’re not going to swing” [never mind the fact that the ball was either bouncing before it got to the plate, or was so far over my head that I’d have to jump to swing at it.] So anyway, third at bat I was getting crappy pitches again, but eventually just swung at one, and made it to first. My next at bat, the comments started up again, so I belted a liner to right, scoring two with a two-out triple. I later scored. That fielder gets the finger.

Somewhere near the 4th inning, we put Mark VA as rover, rather than a 4th outfielder, and from that point on they had no place to hit the ball. The majority of their shots went to center, and were easily caught. We, meanwhile, continued to bring in the runs each inning… and when all was said and done, it was game over:

win
13-6

Woot.

After the game, Joel, Mark VA, and I headed with Jplant to the Emergency Room to get his nose checked out. Mark and I joined Jplant as he got his preliminary check-up thinger with the nurse, and did our best to ridicule him while he answered the nurses questions. The nurse seemed pretty kewl, and added her fair share of witty remarks throughout the conversation. After that, we played the waiting game [“The waiting game sucks… let’s play hungry hungry hippos!“] We tested our blood pressure a few zillion times… and continued to wait. I got Jeff with the “They just called your name, better go up there” thing, and I found it hilarious. After a very long time, [thankfully made less dull for me by a few dozen phone calls], Jeff’s name was called…. for him to go sit in another waiting room. He continued to wait there for another very long time. Not impressive. We kept ourselves occupied trying to figure out what the other people were coming in for. The poor dude in red that was walking really slow seemed to have the most interesting ailment.. albeit a bit disturbing. Melles eventually joined us, and in time Jeff got checked out. From what I understand/remember, his nose was indeed broken, but very slightly, and he should be just fine if he takes it easy for a few days. I’m still hoping for the raccoon face black and blue thing, though. All told we spent about 2 hours in the ER. Afterwords it was Fridays to celebrate the win, and Jeff not being dead.

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