Sunday, December 30, 2012

Season Review : 3 of 10 .. 1-800-Candela

In 2012 I was committed to and played on 11 softball teams. Yes 11 you read that right. This is the third of an eleven part season review series that provides a review of their trials and tribulations  .

Season review : 1-800-Candela ("Fire")

Record: 25-6
Standings : Champion
Insider Analysis : B96 

This league and team was in the Bronx on Saturdays and it was B
to the fullest

which was very cool.

Honestly I was only on the team because of Gil. The team was essentially a very good and deep neighborhood squad full of players who have played together for years. We had pitching, solid hitting, depth, and desire. I was an outsider and cracking the lineup was not going to be easy, but I was confident my time would come. My time did come, time and time again, but regardless of consistently very good performances questionable management

remained loyal to the struggling status quo. Many times to a costly fault.Whatever, not my team to run, not my neighborhood, and I was smart enough to stay quiet and be patient. On the surface it appeared they didn't need me but they did as my patience was rewarded with many memorable moments that earned me softball street credibility among my teammates.

Season Highlight: The championship was a best of five series in which we convincingly swept games 1 and 2. However, on the following Saturday we returned needing to win only one game and the entire team played to avoid the embarrassment of losing three straight rather with the grit needed to seal the series. In games three and four we just could not hit water if we fell out of a boat. Series tied 2-2. Horrible.

In game 5 we lightened the mood a bit as we switched from our blue jerseys 
to our red
for good luck. It was crunch time now and I was shocked that I was benched. Huh? I didn't deserve it but Gil explained to me that I would be brought in to play first base in the middle of the game. 1st base? For this team I had played outfield and catcher all year and this would be my first game at 1st base all year. I knew I had a lot of experience at the position, but others did not and asked me if I was comfortable with it. My response was simply "I got this".

Ironically early in the week I thought to myself I haven't made a big play defensively in a while. Well now was my chance. I immediately had numerous chances, some very difficult, and did very well. The most excited play was a diving stab in the top of the 7th against an excellent hitter which I snared and then fed the pitcher. Gil,  covering the bag for the 1st out. I will always remember the sound of the entire park after the play - both the cheers of my teams and fans, and the silence of my opponent. Felt good. The last out also required a diving stretch of an errant throw to cap the championship. People who had doubted me were now calling me the man.  Vindication and a truly powerful experience as I was so proud of myself for sticking things out.

2 Honorable mention Side Notes:

  1. The season got off to a very good start as we won by turning a game ending triple play on a base hit in the very 1st game of the season.
  2. I lost some very cool hick videos that I took after the championship that really captured the moment and went crazy looking for the while trying to write this piece. Hopefully those lost videos will tun up. Oh well, at least it wasn't a lost season.

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