Hey, Coach, You Want to Take a Few?


Here’s another in the recapturing youth saga…

For the last twenty or so years,
The only power rush I’ve felt in sports
Is going to the driving range,
Taking out the big stick, and
Letting loose with every bit of power
Without regard for GPS or
Innocent bystanders down range.

That feeling of nothing
When the club hits the ball square
Is about as close to, well, that
A middle-aged man can get
Without actually getting there.
As the ball lifts into the stratosphere
There’s just an excitement punctuated by supreme calm.

Hitting a baseball is a lot like that,
Or so I remember
As it has been more than half my life
Since I got to wave the big stick
At a pitcher.
Today, however, I got the chance
To get in the box and take some batting practice.

The first swing was right out of the eye doctor’s chair,
All Lasik, cataract surgery, and what’s going on in left field.
At fifty, it was more than a little embarrassing, but
Undeterred, I laughed, dug in a little, and
Readied for the next pitch,
A hard ground ball
Easily fielded by the third baseman.

Something happened after that,
Muscle memory?
Blind man’s luck?
For as the head coach would say,
“You started hitting piss rockets.”
I love baseball vernacular.

What he meant
Was that the ball was jumping off the bat.
Certainly, he was grooving pitches, but
Instead of dribblers and pop-ups,
I hit line drives off the screen
Going back up the middle
With that driving range rush.

Let the record show that I am aware
Of the relative nature of my modest accomplishment today.
Also, let the court stenographer read that
A couple of the liners were legit
Even in the batting practice environment
Of a high school optional outing
When the pitches were like Dave Crowder’s phat buttered ducks.

Pitching and hitting,
These last couple of weeks sure has been fun.
I probably don’t have any eligibility left and
Very few years where I’d want to get out there and play.
I guess now it’s time
To get back on the range because
I sure like smacking that ball around.


Photo Credit: Flickr.com via Google Images


  1. wonderful images, I almost wasn’t going to read it because I don’t play ball or golf. But early on your words made the action come alive. I could feel what it was like. Very good.

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