On a different corner of the internet my comrade Lee recently posed the question to all, "What is your greatest athletic accomplishment?" So here's mine.
At the age of 12 I played baseball in the Catholic School League. That was the last time I participated in organized sport. St. Vincent's Team A. It was a very competitive league. My team was okay. Way better than St. Vincent's Team B. We wore navy and maroon and played all our games at St. Ann's.
To this day I still can't drive past St. Ann's without getting a sick feeling in my stomach. Thing is, I don't think anyone on that team loved baseball and loved being part of the team more than me. Problem is, I'm not good at it. That's just by lot in life. I oft practiced on my own, but I just didn't have what it takes. I batted 9th in the order and played right field. I once got picked off while leading off 1st base. I wasn't the worst guy on the team at least. That title belonged to this creepy unwashed kid with an unusual stare.
I had the team record for walks and hit-by-pitches, so there's that. But that's not my greatest accomplishment.
So St. Ann's has this guy, a pitcher. Six feet tall he was, with a moustache that would make Tom Selleck envious. Threw right hand side-arm, 103mph. He plagued me all season. You could call it a rivalry, but that would imply that I ever did anything against him. When I stepped into the batter's box, seeing that giant throwing straight at me as hard as a human could, well that freaked me out some. Most of the time I'd dive out of the batter's box only to have a strike called.
Last game of the season. The final four teams are playing. Over on the Southwest Field Lourdes is playing for the League Championship (they're like the '27 Yankees of this league), and we're playing on the Southeast Field against St. Ann's for the right to claim 3rd place. Our last at-bat of the game. St. Ann's puts in my nemesis. My team rallies and I panic as I realize that I'm going to get another at-bat. Surely the St. Vincent's faithful cringe as I jam on a batting helmet step in. Pack it in fellas, here's a guaranteed strike out. First pitch, I knock a hard line drive past the short stop, driving in the tying run. I scurry to second base, representing the winning run.
I honestly have no idea what happened after that.
So that's my greatest sports accomplishment.
My second greatest? One time at a work softball tournament someone took a picture of me and I looked cool.