Play Ball!

It’s baseball season!  This season’s first pitch was delivered by a Beep Ball enthusiast.  “We’re forming a team,” he told me.  “Want to join?”

“No, but thanks for asking,” I replied.  “Seems I spend half my life bent double at the waist, feeling the ground for what I need but can’t see.  What makes you think I want to make a game out of that?”

“But the ball beeps,” he persisted.

“So does a garbage truck backing up and I avoid that too,” I said.

“Oh, you’re no fun,” he said and walked away, or at least I think he did.  I felt alone, which reminded me of golf.

I once joined the Blind Golfers Association.  Walking home from the thrift shop with my new, gently used golf clubs, my neighbor-turned-heckler shouted, “You must have one heck of a slice.  The eighteenth fairway is four miles east of here.”  I never got the chance to prove him wrong because I never found a sighted golfer to pair with and I donated the clubs back to the thrift shop.

Maybe I’m fated not to return to the playing field. I have my own take on spectator sports.  I’ll just harness Randy and hike over to Wrigley Field.  We’ll hang outside the ivy walls along with determined and desperate Cubs fans.  The view’s not so great from Sheffield Avenue but my old transistor radio describes the action just fine.  And I might not circle the basepath like I once did but I can walk eighty blocks round trip between home and Wrigley.  And I might watch baseball with my eyes closed but I know for a fact that, on that close play at second, the ump missed the call.  That’s not everyman’s version of fantasy baseball but it works for me.

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5 Responses to Play Ball!

  1. janeathom@aol.com says:

    This is another home run for you, Jeff! You don’t need beep ball.

    Sent from my iPad Jane A. Thomas

  2. Jenny T says:

    Hi Jeff, No one is more happier than me that my Tigers are finally playing again, or that my Wolverines are in the national championship game for basketball. I have always wanted to play sports, specifically hockey and gymnastics, myself, and even envy my sister’s ability to be a ballerina, something she loves and is brilliant at. But, I have actually had a chance to fulfill my dreams, at least, when I actually participated on my high school’s equestrian team. I and my horses, Rebel Sky, Invincible Renegade and Mighty Mackinaw, jumped fences, and actually helped us win a state championship. The only concession made to me was that I was able to walk the course for twice the length of my sighted teammates and competitors, and my coach spoke to me over a helmet radio giving me some simple directions and corrections if needed, and to save me if I was headed for trouble. I’m sorry that you’ve never found something or someone to team up with, but walking with Blazer, and my other fur children is just as fulfilling. Also, supporting my sister during each of her auditions and performances, though I have and will likely never see her on stage, is likewise fulfilling, because when I hear the music, I can see her in my mind doing the moves she demonstrates to me and lets me feel at our home. Of course, as I still compete on a regular basis, and have recently started competitive rowing, I can also say that, when you find the right combination of people and activities, whether it be watching them or participating in them, there is no better feeling in the world. Thank you for sharing your experiences, and enjoy the baseball season. Jenny and her wonderful guidedog Blazer

    • Jeff Flodin says:

      Wow, Jenny! Your courage is amazing for equestrian events. My hat’s off to you. All my best wishes for continuing to find what you enjoy and that “I can do that” spirit.

  3. Carl Dalka says:

    My hat’s off to you to Jeff. But, I have stood outside Wriggle for baseball and football. The football people would give us their ticket stubs as they left the park. We could go in for the end of the game. The best spots for hearing the game are outside the left field bleachers.
    But, I can not remember, if they would let you into the park – if you had a dog.

  4. farrboot says:

    Thanks for the chuckle today, Jeff. Loved when you likened that beep ball to a garbage truck!

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