Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Sometimes You're the Louisville Slugger Baby

It's softball season again.

Our church is in a Church League, Division 2. There are no official rules as to who should play in this league/this division but to me the unwritten rule is you should at least have one woman on the field and in your lineup and you should have some folks older than 30. It used to be that not all teams had a woman on the field but we always have. Now almost every team we play has women on the team and everyone has players over 30... even over 40 and 50.

All except one team.

Now admittedly I have my own competitive issues. I often struggle keeping my mouth shut especially when I believe a 'not playing fair' crime has been committed.

My goal this season has been to keep my mouth shut and have fun. Tonight, we knew, was going to be my biggest challenge. We played a team of guys ALL under 30, ALL with tatoos and piercings and almost all with a bad attitude. The rules are you are supposed to go to church to play on a church league team. Yeah right. As my one parishioner puts it, "They must have an amazing prison outreach program."

It's not that you cannot be a Christian and have tatoos and piercings but if all of these guys are going to church then I want to know what that church is doing to bring them in because they are doing some AMAZING ministry. I'm sorry, there is just no way.

So there we were tonight with five women in our line up - 2 in high school, one over 50, and two of us over 30. Except for the two high school students we are all over 30 and we have a few guys over 50. Everyone plays and everyone takes their turn sitting. It is one of the things that makes our manager - who happens to be TDH - truly great. He NEVER loses sight of why we are out there - to play and have fun.

The game started badly. We played good defense but with hit after hit from the young gun team we were quickly down 15-1, then 17-1. Finally in the 3rd inning we broke through and scored 4 runs. It was a victory of sorts as we were just trying to not get 15 run ruled (after 5 innings if the other team is ahead by 15 runs or more the game is over).

Then in the 5th inning their team had a melt down. Their pitcher kept walking us and as their fans and other players were getting frustrated and yelling at him they lost focus and so when we would put the ball in play they would have an error. Slowly but surely we started bringing runs across the plate!

By the end of the inning we were up 19-17. Unreal! That was the good news. The bad news was we still had two innings to go.

By now the fans from St. Cussing-You-Out were on us as well calling us cheaters (?) and telling us that their team wasn't going to walk but instead would hit the ball down our throats (did I mention a lot of us bring our kids to the game? Did I mention it is Church League softball, division 2?).

In the meantime I am so proud to say that our team took the high road. We never said a word - even ME! We ran on the field, we ran off the field, we congratulated them on a play well made and we walked away from all potential confrontations.

This earthly kingdom can be a cruel world and in fact, it is not always fair but on this night the karma smiled upon the team that took the high road and those boys only scored 1 more run in the last two innings.

Final Score: 19-18

I half expected to see it on Sportscenter tonight. That's how excited we are!


Songbird said...

Wow. What a game! I'm proud of your team, too.

Sarah Sanderson-Doughty said...

hooray for the triumph of the noble ones! (church baseball sounds like a nightmare to me- playing against your particular opponents last night even more so! but you turn it in to such a happy story! yay!)

Listing Straight said...


Preacher Mom said...


cheesehead said...


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Reverend Dona Quixote said...

I have played a great deal of church softball in my time, so I can relate ... I CELEBRATE YOUR VICTORIES [plural because you remained faithful besides winning.] I am SO proud