May 8, 2018

A Day of Dust and Magic

It was a perfect day for a softball game: humid, warm, the pungent smell of dirt from the diamond. The sounds of balls clapping into mitts, orders shouted, stretching, excitedly anticipating the arrival of our opposition.

A packed crowd surrounded the field as the opposing team arrived in limousines: laughing, hand slapping us, playing to the spectators. Magic Johnson, Greg Kelser, and Jay Vincent led the contingent of Michigan State University basketball players - their celebrity vs our small stature spirit. Each one of us, men and women, were chosen for our abilities to play this exhibition softball game in Holt, Michigan. 

My hand was tiny compared to these famous athletes ... the high-fives hurt, a lot, but the thrill of the game erased physical discomfort.

*This is number one, and the inning's just begun,
we need lots and lots of hits to score some runs!

I felt absolutely thrilled to be selected for this special team of MVP players around the region and "won" my favorite position -- shortstop. My life was softball, climbing trees, and walking in the woods. Playing against these men was a highlight, challenge, and a chapter-worthy notation on my life list. Along with the media attention, spectator's screaming, the clink of balls hitting aluminum bats, one memory I am proud of ... I snagged a mean and direct line drive off the bat of Magic Johnson. Out! My gloved hand seared with pain, but he was out. 

Their basketball turned softball team played to their fans and massacred us in runs and over the fence hits. The opposition was full of power, athleticism, and fun. The spectators got their money-worth of laughter.

Run the bases, leave no traces, lots of hits,
lots of runs, and they scored.

We obviously lost but I was in my element and loved every minute. We experienced the thrill of the game, celebrity-ness, fame and heart wrenching choking defeat.  It was great. My hand remained painfully swollen and bruised for weeks from the catch made off Magic's line-drive (and the high-fives) but relived the thrill and feel of this particular game for years. A moment in life to carry me into the future.

Now this is number seven and they really played like heaven;
they had lots and lots of hits and scored some runs!
They ran the bases,
they left no traces,
got lots of hits, lots of runs,
and they soared.

 *I had been a member of the Lansing Laurel's Women’s Fast Softball Team. The Laurels were hardcore players and won games and tournaments around the country and Canada. A Laurel wrote the lyrics of the above song. As we royally lost the game against the MSU basketball team, I changed out the original words to befit the event.

2 comments:

  1. Love to watch women's softball. Went to many games.

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    1. There is something very dramatic about women playing softball, especially when conditions are perfect.

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