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Remembering to ‘pitch and duck’

By Staff | Mar 30, 2014

If you take one look at me, I probably don’t come off as the most athletic girl on the block. Sure, I’m a runner and you may see me out playing frisbee or something from time to time, but it’s true, I’m not the most sport-oriented person in the world.

However, writing the spring sports previews for this issue of the Register has me looking back fondly on some of my own spring sporting memories.

I love the sport of baseball. It’s one sport which I can enjoy in every way. I like to play it, I like to watch it on TV and I love to watch it in person. But, it hasn’t always been so kind to me in return.

Most people have spent summers playing catch or hitting baseballs in their yard. My childhood was no different; my brother Harley and I would play catch together quite a bit. Except there was a small difference between he and I he was good and I wasn’t.

I?still haven’t lived down one game of catch in particular. It’s what my brother and I call ‘the pitch and duck.’

We would often take turns pitching to each other. It was my turn to take the mound and Harley said, “just pitch it and duck.” I pitched it and forgot about the second half of the command. The rest of the memory is a little hazy, but I think it ended with me on the receiving end of a line drive.

That should have discouraged me from attempting any future in baseball. However, as my brother likes to remind me, I tried to act tough and hang out with the boys and I decided to join little league. I was the only girl. When our first game day rolled around, I was warming up with one of my classmates. The ball flew up, I got under it in an attempt to retrieve it and was completely unsuccessful.

“You got hit in the face and sat in the dugout and never came back,” my brother reminds me.

And it was true, I remember walking up to the coach the next day with my parents and telling him I wanted to quit.

I think it was about this time when my brother and I split ways. He continued to be the cool guy playing baseball and playing it really well. And, that day I got hit in the eye is the day I decided to become a nerd.

But even so I still can’t escape getting hit in the face at sporting events. I was covering a Blue Earth Area volleyball game not too long ago and was reading a book on my iPhone while the teams were warming up. Sure enough a stray ball hit me directly in the face, smashing my glasses into my nose.

And my past must be written all over my face because when I was chatting with the BEA softball coach the other day she suggested we step outside so I don’t get hit.

Good call! Where were those words of wisdom 19 years ago?