DXMachina (dxmachina) wrote,

Five Random Things

Snagged from snurri, with a theme as I wait for the Braves-Dodgers game to start.

When I hit the ball, I always used to carry the bat with me a step or two up the line as I headed for first. Most batters just drop the bat behind them at the end of the swing, leaving the bat somewhere in the vicinity of the batters box. My bats were always somewhere up the first base line. It was a totally unconscious action, and I never figured out where it came from. It certainly wasn't something I set out to do deliberately, since holding onto the bat while running tends to slow you down. Worse, I wasn't just bringing my left hand (with the bat in it) back around in front of me and releasing the bat, but I would actually transfer the bat to my right hand and then toss it sideways.

The best hitting day I ever had was the time I went 10-10 in a doubleheader, with 2 homers, a triple, and 2 doubles, nearly a double cycle.

One of the best fielding plays I ever made was also one of the dumbest. It was a tight game, there was a runner on third, and I was pitching. Things were desperate. I was usually the shortstop on that team. We were up a run in the last inning, and there was one out. I don't know what possessed me, but when I made the next pitch I charged the plate like a soccer goalie trying to cut down the angle. And it worked! Instead of hitting me in the face with a line drive, the batter hit a one hopper right at me. I looked the runner back to third, and threw the batter out. The next batter popped up and we won. And ever since I've wondered what the hell I was thinking about.

I did learn one thing about pitching. Based upon my empirical observations, a slow-pitch knuckleball will travel farther than any other pitch one might throw. Might just as well give the batter a tee.

When I started playing first base, I had a devil of a time with scooping throws in the dirt. Given the arms of my teammates, there were a lot of them, so it was a problem. I was spending a lot of time with my back to the field, chasing the ball down behind first base. The only saving grace was that at least I didn't have to try to catch my own numerous errant throws. This went on for most of a season. Then one night our shortstop threw one in the dirt, and I picked it. A couple of plays he did it again, and I picked it again. By the end of the game I'd managed to pick every single bad throw. The shortshop demanded to know what the hell happened, i.e., how the hell I'd gotten good, and I couldn't explain it. It happens too fast to really be a conscious action. It was as if the muscles and reflexes just finally got in sync and learned how the ball would react when it hit the ground. Also, once the body learned how to do it, I rarely missed one ever again. Very weird and neat at the same time.

Tags: baseball, meme, reminiscence

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