Staying Connected

I know how old I am when I realise that I have enjoyed sports for twenty years. By this I mean I have enjoyed watching sports. I’ve rarely enjoyed playing sports, unless you include hitting the cricket ball to Aidan in the back garden or kicking the football with him. Even that is severely limited due to my own disabilities.

I only ever played a team sport when I was in the third grade. I signed up for Pee-Wee baseball and got assigned to team, the name of which escapes me at the moment. The sponsor was an auto body shop or auto parts store of some sort. The manager was a brother or cousin of the owner. (He was later a city councilman and was one of my supporters in my first foray into grassroots politics.) The assistant coach was apparently inebriated most of the time, though I only found this out when I got older. I played right field or center field whenever there was some compulsion to let me on the field.

In Pee-Wee ball, right or center is where you put the worst players, because the ball rarely gets out there. Most eight-year-olds are naturally right-handed and if they make substantial contact, they tend to pull the ball into left field. I think I may have fielded a couple of balls over the course of the entire season.

That’s more balls than I hit, though. Actually, it’s more ball than I even swung at. My bat never crossed the plate in a competitive situation. I was too scared. I got on base occasionally due to the inaccuracies of eight-year-old pitching and I think I may have even scored a run on errors at some point.

I know I’ve told the story before of how I ended up stuck out in West Texas with nothing to do but watch sports on TV, even after I got a job at a KOA Kampground.

I’m by no means sports mad. However, the opportunities to watch American professional sports on Channel 5 is, among other things, a way to stay connected to my homeland. Tonight I’m watching San Antonio at Cleveland in the NBA. The bonus is that other than the Pacers, I gravitate to the Spurs as a favourite team – despite the fact that I’m only familiar with one player in the current lineup. Until tonight I thought it was live, but by looking at the NBA pages on Yahoo I saw that while I’m watching the first quarter, the game is in the third. I better close that tab, so I don’t ruin it for myself.

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