I can't remember, what the specifics of the conversation were or why we got into talking about it. I played softball in high school and Joel's team in New York was looking for players. Brian and Joel were already becoming very good friends. Organized softball sounded like it could be fun. I figured, what the heck.
This March, I start my 18th season. And yes, It's been a fun ride; ups, downs, trophies, tournaments, a couple of world series and I've met some great great people (there I go burying the lead).
Now, at age 42, I'm one of the older guys on the team.
A teammate, from my first team in New York, recently asked me (on facebook), if I was still playing softball. I confirmed this and said, I'm coaching as well. His response was: "aren't you getting a little uh...old to play." As a fellow New Yorker (and we are both, now in California), my first thought was raising the middle finger but I laughed it off (he is a Mets' fan afterall).
Retirement time? I know of softball players that have been playing for a long time and I also know players that are a lot older, in their 50's. I think, if you're in pretty good shape, you can do it. I'm not going to sugarcoat the fact, that over the years, I've played a lot and have bruises. There is a shoulder thing for me nowadays, that I don't talk about; it's something I deal with and have been for the last three seasons but it's a choice.
If there comes a time, where I feel, it's too hard, then I'm out. Certainly, when I don't feel I can hit anymore, I'm done. Not only do I love to hit but I love to hit when there are people on base, when the game is on the line. This is my favorite softball scene. I find it funny with new players; that some would get nervous about it. I believe I actually told a player, in my first year, coaching: "Relax, you're not being asked to carry guns into Iraq, it's softball."
I'm in Las Vegas, dogsitting for Brian and Joel and I guess, thinking about the last 18 years, softball has been a cool thing for me.
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