Put me in, Coach

So there are a few reasons that I’ve not written a post in a while. One of those reasons (as unlikely as it sounds) is that I’ve joined a sports team. Anybody that knows me will know that sport and I normally go together like Gay Pride parades and the Christian Right. I’ve never been good at any sports and I’ve never been in any kind of shape to get good at any sports. This has forever been the Catch 22 of my active life. (Get it? Catch? It’s a sports pun!)

So how did I get on a sports team? It all started when my friend Bob joined a softball team a couple of years ago. At the time I thought “I should get into that” and, in classic Me fashion, I never did. Fast forward some time and another of my friends (this time it was Dan) joined the softball fraternity. Again, I thought I should get involved and totally did nothing about it. Then, another friend (Tom) started going with Dan and I encountered them on their way to it on a Tuesday evening. I enquired, got the details and actually went along on the following Tuesday. Presto! I was playing sports! As simple as that!

I know that isn’t an exciting sequence of events. It could be boiled down to this sentence: my friends started playing softball and eventually I joined them. And you’re totally right. The excitement did not lie in how it started, but in what came after.

I discovered a whole crowd who were totally involved and invested in softball in Manchester (and the rest of the UK, as a matter of fact). Fifteen teams play in the indoor league, most of which have around a dozen players each. That may not seem like a lot of people in a city as big as Manchester but I can assure you that in this situation, size definitely doesn’t matter. What they lack in numbers they make up for in determination, skill and passion. You can get all of the details of the organisation that runs the indoor and outdoor leagues, BaseballSoftballUK, and their events all over the country on their website. I never would have guessed that this community was still in full swing. My dad coached the Manchester Express baseball team a number of years ago (and the English National Team against Scotland for a game too) and I knew that there were enthusiasts then. It turns out that the interest and love for the game is still here but now it’s about softball instead.

My team is all rookies. We all came together at the end of last year and formed the Manchester Meteors. We’ve played five weeks, which amounts to twenty-four games (each fifteen minutes), and we have notched up four wins. There is an interesting mix of people on our team and we all want to win. We want to have fun, obviously, but we all want to win. We all want to hit home runs, too. Like I said, we’re rookies. You should keep up with us on Twitter. We definitely could do with a hype squad.

It’s an amazing feeling though, playing a sport. I think I may continue.

Until next time, dear reader. My next home run is for you.



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