Sporty Good Times

On Sunday, since the weather was a bit nicer than it had been the past couple weeks, Michelle and I decided that it would be a fine time to get outside for summertime sports.

Michelle has asked me to teach her how to play a number of sports since we’ve been going out. We’ve been to quite a few sporting events, but haven’t had as much time to play them ourselves. Sunday would be our day to tackle baseball.

We started out at Fleet Farm, where they have a very good inventory of lower-cost sporting equipment every season. Other than going to a higher-end sports outlet of some sort, it’s probably the best selection of baseball gloves you’re going to find in town. Michelle was lucky enough to find a pink and gray glove that was comfortable and affordable.

After the quick shopping trip, we loaded up the dog and the other equipment in the car and headed over to Menominee Park, where they have a lot of green space and a couple ball diamonds.

The first thing we did was to stand pretty close together and toss the ball just to get used to using a glove to catch. It wasn’t long before we were ready to practice throwing.

I imagine that one of the reasons we usually teach kids how to play sports at a relatively young age is that they able to learn and adapt physically pretty quickly. Michelle did a good job catching and throwing, but like anything you want to learn, it’s going to take practice. We went over the mechanics of throwing a baseball, and I recommended that, rather than worry about accuracy and distance when throwing, she should concentrate first of all on the motions. Like I said, overall it was a pretty good game of catch.

Did I mention we were throwing a softball? Yeah, it was a softball. I figured, bigger target to grab hold of…

We moved on to batting after that. She did a really good job swinging the bat. Once she started focusing on watching the ball and swinging all the way through, she made a lot of contact. And I’m not a very good pitcher. I had a bag of a dozen balls, and I think I pitched her maybe 5 or 6 bags.

We also did a little fielding, but the results there were mixed. I hit while Michelle tracked ’em down. My control of ball placement could use improvement. I hit quite a few on the ground, and she routinely got in front of them. The ones in the air I usually hit too hard or too far. I guess we could’ve done “infield” and then “outfield” drills, but maybe another time.

Anyway, when we were done, I thought a little about how it’s a drag you can’t really just play a “pick-up game” of baseball with people. It’s not like football, where even though a standard team is pretty big, you can modify the rules and get by with less. You need all those people on a baseball team covering all those positions for a reason.

My initial gut instinct is that it might be fun to play in a softball league, but then I think about how it would probably be just like basketball season, and then I change my mind.

All in all, we had a good time.

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