Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Foul Ball!

Baseball is a dangerous sport. The balls fly fast and hard, it’s no wonder the players wear helmets. My stepson loves to play. He has several games a week from April through June, so we’re right in the thick of it now.

Somehow the people who don’t play baseball are the ones who keep getting baseball injuries. Go figure.

After Saturday’s game, my husband, who coaches the team, hobbled out of the dugout severely favoring one ankle. He explained that he had been hit in the ankle with a baseball when warming up one of the pitchers. Due to the large amount of swelling, he spent the next few hours elevating and icing his ankle.

My husband isn’t the only magnet, though. For some reason this year, I’ve had more foul balls fly my way than I can count. It doesn’t matter if I sit by first base, third base, or stand behind home plate. Somehow foul balls adjust their trajectory toward me.

It all started at my stepson’s middle school game about a month ago, where at least 4 foul balls found their way to the bleachers set far behind home plate. One in particular was coming straight for my noggin at a time when I wasn’t paying as much attention as I should have. To my husband’s desperate “heads up” cry, I tried to lean away from him, while he tried to pull me toward him. He managed to knock the ball away just over my head with one hand and scratched the heck out of my arm with his other. He got me from the front of my arm clear around to the back. It drew a fair amount of blood and it’s still healing now, but at least I didn’t get hit in the head with a ball.

The foul balls have continued their attack ever since. This weekend went above and beyond and left me wondering if the world is trying to take me out.

During Saturday’s game (the same one which left my husband limping), I set up my chair a good ways past third base. I’d guess at least 6 balls came out that way. Two prompted me to flee my chair quickly. One hit just two feet from where I cowered with my hands over my head. Clearly I need to learn to dodge better.

On Sunday there was yet another game at yet a different field. I set my chair up between home and first, closer to first. The first foul ball appeared to be coming directly for me so I took of running. It bounced right next to my chair. A couple of the other parents commented on the close call and joked that someone must have it out for me. I told them they had no idea, but I think by game’s end, they understood.

I found myself running from a lot more balls that morning. A couple of them were after I had abandoned my chair and moved to the other side of the bleachers (closer to home plate). It didn’t seem to matter where I was. I moved to a parking lot and a ball landed there.

As I finally determined that it didn’t matter where I stood, I went back to my chair and stayed alert. Sure enough, one of the last plays of the game sent me fleeing my chair again. As I ran away I heard the ball hit the ground right behind me, then felt the sting as it bounced into my hind end.

Add me to the injured players list. I may be out the rest of the season.

It is curious that my stepson who actually plays in the games hasn’t had any injuries. I’m grateful for that.

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