Being Employed, in a Baseball Sense

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By Paul Mahaney

I don’t remember the day I was born, but how many of us really do? Not even those with the gift of hyperthymesia (Merilu Henner being one of them, and only 32 others having been confirmed with that phenomenal talent) have the ability—they can only remember everything from about the age of 10 on though—but I digress.

Once you realize you’re here you want to make something of yourself. You ask yourself, what talents do I have, what abilities do I possess, and what can I do with them? And then you go looking to develop those gifts thus turning them into skills you can use for employment.

Most of us settle for a simple existence, but there are those of us who wish to rise above just being average, and I have always been one of them. I saw myself performing a job in the athletic world doing something in sports.

American football is huge and I love football, but I was never really in shape for it. And then for a while I even thought maybe basketball might be my calling, yet I was told I was too small for the hardwood.

Hockey is a sport I had a fancy for, yet again I was denied as I am one of those who is rounded, and those who are round are seldom seen as the athletic type.

Surely there was some sport for me to be a part of that would allow me to express myself in athletics.

Then one day—while I was lying about in the sun—I was selected for a pickup game of baseball. In that moment I knew I had found my calling. My passion for the game grew with each spring and summer afternoon.

The smell of leather mitts fueled my enthusiasm for the game it all felt right and comfortable. I guess you could say it fit me like a glove.

Oh sure like everyone else who has ever played the game, not everything felt right. Not everyone can run—some players can barely get out of the batter’s box—much less get a walk to first base.

Still others find it hard to pitch or throw, but fast ball pitchers used to scare the hell out of me, but I have learned to toughen up since.

Ask any manager, be it little league or big league, what frustrates them most and the answer you always get is either the guy or girl who can’t catch, or the player who can’t hit.

To be absolutely honest about it I think I prefer the player who can’t make contact, yeah I’d say that summarizes how I feel after an at bat.

But like all who do anything they love I wanted to take it to the next level, and in my case that meant making it in the big leagues.

Each major league game offers a chance for employment; at least 120 positions are available per game, maybe more. You can’t be brand new to the game, let’s face it you have to get dirty if you want to play in the big leagues, but I can dream can’t I, and besides am already dirty I got my start in a sandlot.

Just the chance to get a massage with some of that Lena Blackburne New Jersey Rubbing Mud wouldn’t take any of the shine off of me, no siree bob.

Okay I might only last a couple of pitches in any Major League game, but if I had to get crushed it would be worth every second if it came at the hands of another Henry Aaron or Willie Mays. If it meant going to the hall in Cooperstown what a great retirement.

Likely though I will probably continue to be used in pickup games in sandlots wherever it may be, but I’d still be in baseball, and it’s truly nice to know you have found your niche in the world.

Yep being a baseball is not half bad.

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Posted on August 18, 2013, in 2013 and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Great job Paul, like always. Ken PerryK

    • Thanks Ken, it gets harder to write a good piece when your team continues to fade. So I thought, M. Night Shyamalan, who better when you’re in crisis.

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