Mush Ball Out x2
Hopefully you have read my article describing the first time I have ever hit a home run out of the park with a mush ball.
Playing this last Friday night, first at bat, I launched a ball out of the park and into the parking lot on the full! Now last week I hit the top of the fence and it bounced over. This week it cleared the fence by another 30 yards at least. And remember, we are playing with a mush ball here. After this shot, the game got a little strange. Let me explain.
That home run was a 3-run blast. But that was all we scored for another 2 innings. We started falling well behind the other team, and one of their fans started to harass me every time she could. What was freaky was she called me by name and singled me out for her aggressions. In the 3rd innings I was thrown all balls, and decided to hit the next one no matter what, or I’d be walking. Gene, who was coaching 3rd base at the time, had just yelled out, “I’ll give you $20 if you hit my black truck!” 2 seconds later he was ducking for cover as I drove a shot at his head, completely accidentally! The timing was remarkable, the placement was comical. Next pitch was a very high floater that hit the back of the plate, I watched it thinking it was going to be a ball, and for the first time in my life I struck out in softball.
This set the lady off. As we were taking the field, I could hear her yelling out what a great shot that was, and to continue hitting like that (my strike out). I yelled back, “Did you like that one in the parking lot? Cause that’s where the next one is going.” Tall talk, considering this thing was incredibly hard to hit very far. Yes I had already hit one shot out, a long way out as I mentioned above, but the chances of repeating had to be very slim. But she was now under my skin and I had taken the bite. I actually asked Gene and Kandi if she was cheering for me or making fun of me? It was really, really weird. Kandi said she thought she was making fun of me. Bad thing to do.
That innings they had a guy runner on 2nd, a girl runner on first and a guy up. He hit the ball through the gap between short stop and 3rd, prompting the runner at 2nd to run through 3rd and onto home. I ran in from left center, picked the ball up one-handed and threw him out at home. I wish I could videotape a persons thoughts. I’d like to imagine he was cruising home with the plate in view, getting ready to touch down for an extra run, and suddenly the ball lands in the glove of the pitcher in front of him, colourful 4-letter words entering his mind.
But that was not all, Dragon Lady had to be punished more. 2 out, girl up and she hits a line drive over Jaimee our 2nd baseman (woman). I ran in, picked it up ever so cleanly into my glove and threw her out at first on the run. Our perennially strong crowd of about 25 burst into cheers. Innings over, and a play that a major leaguer would have been proud of. I was sure Dragon Lady would shut up from now on. Right….
When I came up to bat again she set off again about my strike out, encouraging me to strike out again. Who was this lady? I’m sorry, but I was ever eager to do even better now, and sailed the ball over the right field fence. Mush Ball home run #2 for the game. That’s no mush ball home runs ever to 3 in 2 games now. You could say I was on a roll? As I was jogging down the first base line I stopped, looked at this woman and performed a curtsy and a bow. Roars of laughter from my side, “He’s a cocky Australian” reached my ears from the direction of the pitcher. Shut up, you’ve just been had again mate. I jogged around the bases and after reaching home decided to be a complete ass. I danced some weird jig as I slapped hand after hand of my teammates, crowd roaring with laughter, and I was having the time of my life. There was still a problem though; we were still behind on the scoreboard.
I love playing good. But I also love when my teammates pull off great plays. And this craziness seemed to set us into overdrive, as we switched on and started playing. Shawn pulled off a jumping catch at shortstop. Shawn is a pretty big guy; he got up and pulled that ball down. Great play. Jaimee with a catch and a throw out at first two plays in a row. She picked the ball up so cleanly and the throw to 1st was spot on. Two great plays. Then the fielding play of the game. I forgot to mention how windy and difficult it was to bat and field on Friday night. Well this other team was skewing the ball into right field all night, bouncing in front of our outfield and spinning at odd directions. One such shot occurred again, but this time Gene our right-center fielder came sprinting in immediately after the hit. It was out of reach, there was no way he was going to get it. Yet, miraculously he remained on his feet and caught the thing around his bootstraps. It was stunning. And by now we were back in the game marginally in front, having held them for 0 runs in 3 innings amidst cheers and woohoo’s from our players and fans alike.
Surely this lady would shut up. Unfortunately I had mis-fielded a ball in the previous innings, trying to scoop and throw out a girl at 1st again, but didn’t quite grasp it and fumbled between my legs. Trying to recover I kicked it, perhaps twice. I am sure I looked silly and it would have usually been funny. Since this woman had decided to pick on me, and I had responded with 2 out of the park home runs, a throw out at home and a throw out at first from the outfield (the throw was amazing, I’ll brag about it) I would think that she’d be learning by now that she was not causing me to mess up. She was causing me to fire on all cylinders. Perhaps the mis-field energized her. Next at bat I could hear more cat calls and jeering, “Show us how much of a man you are Michael..” etc. I resisted the urge to grab my balls and spit on the ground. I went for the parking lot again, but just got under it a little too much. It barely burned the right fielder; she tumbled like a combination of tumbleweed and a bowling pin. I ran around the bases faster than you can say I ran around the bases. By the time I was rounding 3rd, someone was over there backing her up fumbling the ball as he retrieved it from the fence line. Nanoseconds from home plate I made a crazy decision. Microseconds later I was performing a cartwheel over home plate, completing the in-field home run, completing my third home-run of the game, completing a quite thorough disemboweling of the pitchers’ pitching efforts.
As we completed a 15-9 run win, after being down 8-3 after 3 innings, was a satisfying moment. As we slapped hands at the end of the game with the other team, one of their guys said to me, “I was getting real tired of you out there.” I responded with, “I was getting real tired of your fan.” And that was it. We parted with a mutual disgust. But I do not even remember what the guy looked like now. I don’t remember what their fan looked like. I could not tell you what any of them looked like. But I bet you they will never forget the guy performing the curtsy, the dancing jig and the cartwheel over home plate. I left a legacy in their minds and I won. 🙂