“There! Over there … behind the King Kong sized teddy bear … where those gnomes are pointing,” I yelled to my partner. “Those aren’t gnomes, you bonehead,” my partner blurted out, trailing my backside by two short steps. “They’re elves.” I cocked my head and smugly retorted, “They’re short green people with pointed auricles—no doubt related to the same pixie clan,” I added. “So, what’s the big deal?”
It’s been 18 years since I stood on this grassy, triangular plane with my mitt on my hand. Why the hiatus from softball? I suppose part of it’s because coaching and encouraging my kids’ fervor for the sport through their own growing years superseded my personal need to partake in America’s favorite pastime. Or maybe the reason lies in the inconsistency of having to work 24-hour medic cars in addition to overtime shifts to pay for my son’s gotta-have-it, $450, titanium, gold-trimmed, NASA-approved baseball bat.