Starting is every player's dream

 It starts with the opening pitch

I have a face for radio. A voice for writing. A written style for...let's just say publishers won't fall over themselves trying to sign me. I'm OK with that. The thoughts going through my mind, though constant, rarely make it to fruition. So, I thought, here I can put some of them into words. At the very least, to have an outlet for them. 

On this go around, I'll introduce myself a bit. I'm a 40 year old guy. I play amateur baseball. Too short?

Ok.  I live in a small town on the central coast of California. I've lived within a 40 mile radius of here for the majority of my life. I have 4 kids, 2 young enough to live at home. Yeah, I was a young dad. It happens. I've been married, and though still legally attached, her and I went our separate ways almost 6 years ago. While I've gone on a few dates since then, I guess being off the market for more than a decade can dampen one's dating skills. My kids are happy and that's most important. I'm usually happy. But if a nice woman started showing interest, I'll be honest, I'd probably miss all the signs, unknowingly say something awkward and wait for the next chance to not score a date. Yes I'm horrible at expressing interest. And I'm definitely self-depreciating. It's a wonder I have kids.

I've had many types of jobs over the years. Umpire, school bus cleaner, gas station attendant, manufacturer of gym equipment, fast food manager. All of that was before I was 20. I eventually discovered I had a skill at landscaping. After about 4 years of that, I never wanted to do it again. But I liked plants and started working at a nursery. Manager of multiple divisions, I was very happy. Then one day the owner told me he was adding a new division. Bet you can guess what it was, who was building it from the ground up and was going to be running it full time....oh joy. The nursery closed a year later but the landscape division kept on going.  A couple years later, I took it over, resigned to the fact that, like it or not, 1) I'm a landscaper, 2) I'm good at it, 3) it pays the bills. I still never want to do it again. But I get up every morning and make other people's yards pretty. My kids like to eat. 

Had enough already? Sorry

Around the time I took over the business, it occurred to me that it's not healthy to go about every day hoping a meteor would take me out. So I started doing things I enjoy to provide balance. Kids need a happy dad, right? I started organizing pickup football games. Started getting my brother to play catch. Started playing basketball.  Then one day someone told me they needed a shortstop for their softball team. I jumped at the chance. (Note...I'd never played ss once, ever. I'd always been a catcher, 1b or outfield.) But I picked it up quickly and fell in love with it. It got me through a lot of hard times, including the end of the marriage, and the cancelation of House.

I've loved baseball for as long as I could remember. I was never great at any one part of it, but have been good at different parts throughout my life. I was resigned to just playing softball since baseball isn't around for older guys, right? Wrong. 

I decided one day to see if there was a rec baseball league similar to softball. I was excited to find one but it was 2 hours away and near the end of the season. Darn. All offseason I contemplated making the drive to play every weekend. I almost did, but one day a teammate mentioned a local league. My ears perked up! I tracked down the Facebook page eventually and found my way on to a team 3 years ago. After a 22 year hiatus, I was on the field again. I still curse the league for lack of outreach. But I love it just the same. 

So, for the last three years, from April to September, my Sundays are spent playing the best game on earth. I play for my regular team and sub for any others that are short. I've gone to tournaments in LA, San Diego, Las Vegas and Phoenix. I even have my own custom wood Bat company, called 805 BATS. In the offseason I train for the next season.

Happiness for me is being on the baseball field. 


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