Today’s question is open-ended: what’s your best Little League war story? Or Babe Ruth or high school baseball war story. Or softball war story. Or even your best sandlot war story. Basically, I want to hear about your greatest baseball (loosely defined) triumphs and tragedies.
I played Little League and Babe Ruth baseball and, as I have said in the past, I was not very good. My enthusiasm got me through age 15 or so, but my talent was never really there. I never hit a big home run. I probably only had one or two defensive plays that were notable. My absolute highlight as far as displaying good baseball skills go was the time when my Babe Ruth team was facing a pitcher who had an unusually good-for-the-ninth-grade breaking ball. He was mowing my team down. My third time up I just decided to turn my brain off, guess breaking ball and swing where he kept leaving it out of the zone. I got lucky and connected for a double, after which I told everyone on the team how I had “made an adjustment” or some such crap. As far as highlights go that wasn’t much, frankly. It was all I had.
My best baseball memory, though, goes back to Little League.
My brother and I were on the same team. He was one of our pitchers and I was the kid they stuck in left field to keep him out of harm’s way. I came to bat and the opposing pitcher hit me in the back with a pitch. I don’t think he meant to — kids that age don’t know where the ball’s going half the time — but it hurt pretty bad. The guys on my team all yelled at the opposing pitcher and started up with the usual chatter you might hear in that situation.
The next half inning the opposing pitcher came to bat. My brother was on the mound and he beaned the kid. On purpose. And he made it very clear right after it happened that he did, in fact, do it on purpose. There may have been some crotch grabs and stuff involved. My brother was immediately ejected.
My brother was a better player than I was but his heart wasn’t really into the game like mine was so he quit not long after that. But he definitely went out on top.