Had baseball been created with an offense and a defense, I'd be wrapping up a successful career as a middle infielder for somebody. Unfortunately, my dad was right all those years ago when he told me, "The guys who can hit are the ones who'll play." Try as I may, (from both sides of the plate mind you), my offensive career peeked at about the age of 12.
But the struggles I had in the batters box, the extra work on the tee and in the cage it forced me into, and the level at which I had to perform on defense just to keep a starting spot, turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Had my bat been able to catch up to a couple more fastballs, my eyes been able to pick up the curve ball a little earlier and my power been.....existent whatsoever, I may never have discovered my true for baseball, coaching. Additionally, had I not been so desperate to see my name in the paper, or so motivated by the ink my teammates would receive regularly, I likely wouldn't have developed a passion for writing.
Now I make no claim to having any talent in either, but at the high school and youth levels, I have experienced a great deal of success as a coach. More importantly my success as a coach has earned me the respect and admiration of hundreds of great young ballplayers and the trust of countless parents over the course of the 15 years since trading in the Black Magic for a fungo.
The writing however took a little while longer to surface. Although a hobby of mine all my life, only after l created a website to cover my sons little league season in 2009 did I have any confidence in my words. The reactions I received from parents on all three teams that comprised the league, provided me with enough belief in my ability to continue with the website, (http://hitnrunmedia.com/2010_all_stars.html) in 2010. The reception from not only league parents, players and officials but from the competition as well was mind blowing. Now, it seems all I want to do is find a way out of the job I've held since quitting college 17 years ago, and into one that provides me with a voice, an opinion and a point of view that is often received with laughter, agreement or complete shock as individuals are amazed that the person they saw me as could actually write the piece they had just read.
At the time, the 0 for 3's and 0 for 4's were devastating, yet now as I look back on my playing career I can see why the prayers I entered the batter box with were rarely answered. An extra hit or two a week and its likely I never tap into my true talents, likely I'd never have shared a single, original, written sentence with another human being.
Now I only hope the passion and talent I've found in sports reporting at somewhat of a "minor league" level can make the jump to the show, here on the bleacher report. Who knows, at 35 you may be looking at the Roy Hobbs of sports journalists.