This morning I was having one of those deep thought moments while I was in the shower. I remembered my short-lived career in pee wee baseball. My parents put me in baseball before I think I even knew what baseball was. The first year or two were dad-pitch seasons. Then we moved up to kid pitch.
I remember being up at bat. The pitch came. I connected. It happened in the blink of an eye. I felt the ball, and then I saw the ball, slowly rolling back toward the pitcher’s mound. But I didn’t swing. It was a close pitch and the ball hit the ring finger on my right hand.
The ball hit the nail on my finger hard enough to reverse direction on impact and roll all the way back to the pitcher’s mound.
I didn’t know what happened. One second I’m watching the pitcher wind up, the ball comes, and then the ball goes. I saw the ball rolling before I realized what’d even happened. The hit. The ball. The confusion. And then the pain.
I think I might’ve been six or seven years old. My coach, my team, and everyone in the stands didn’t know what happened either. We all saw the ball rolling toward the pitcher. I was confused and I was hurt. My coach screamed, “Run!” Everyone on my team screamed, “Run!” My parents screamed, “Run!”
I think I might’ve tried running to first base. I’m pretty sure the pitcher had already sent the ball there. I was just trying to not cry. Blood was pouring from my finger, I was in pain like I’d never felt before, and all I wanted to do was run to my mom in the bleachers so she could stop the pain.
I was out.
And that was the last time that I played baseball.