Sunday, June 17, 2007

Softball and Presbyterians

I originally sat down tonight to finish my Spain post which I've been toiling over for the last three weeks that I've been home. I took detailed notes so I could fill you in on every interesting tidbit. But I cannot find my notes anywhere because my desk is an f-ing disaster zone. So I'll hopefully finish early this week.

Anyhoo, today I had my Sunday softball games. For the last couple summers I've been joining a group of young Jews from around the city in a pick-up softball game every Sunday afternoon. Word spread and it has over time grown to have a great deal larger crowd in attendance every week. That includes a few too many people with bad attitudes. Guys complaining about umpires, bases, line ups, etc. If its not important, the guys are screaming about it. I complain too, but only when the teams are SO unbalanced that the game looses all its fun and just becomes an extended batting practice or safety is at stake. Both of those issues have come up numerous times. But what really grinds my gears is how damn sexist most of these guys are. Its like Jewish boys have been brainwashed by their single sex Yeshivas into thinking that anything they can do a girl is incapable of doing better. For example, call me pompous, but I know I am a good ball player. I have twenty-two years experience playing with very competitive people, boys and girls. I know guys who were on my Little League teams who now play in the majors and girls who I played with who have played in the Women's College World Series and in the Women's Pro League. Yet, without fail, every week, myself and the two other female regulars (also extremely capable players) tend to be picked last. In fact most of the guys picked before us tend to drop the most routine pop-ups. Last week, one of the other girls made an excellent defensive play at second to make an out and a guy on the other team chided his teammate about how embarrassed he should be cause a girl got him out. Sure, boys do that all the time. Boys. This guy was in his thirties...Whats his excuse?

Last week at the conclusion of the pick up game I wandered over to a game that was getting ready to begin. I noticed it was a co-ed team and they were short a couple ladies. In the mood for a more competitive game I asked if I could be of service. They happily welcomed me to their team. Each person came over to introduce themselves and welcomed me with a big smile. There are guys in the pick-up game I've played with for two years and I still call them by the position they play. Turns out this team was part of a Presbyterian Church league and they have games each Sunday in Central Park. They were impressed by my skills and invited me to join them for the rest of the season. I played with them again this afternoon and they were happy to see me. The players who missed last week had all heard about me from the other players and were excited that I had joined them. That made me feel pretty good. As the game was set to begin, the captain from the other team came over and invited everyone to join him in a prayer. I was like, sure, why not, I'm religious too. He asked God to watch over everyone and make sure no one gets hurt and that each and every one of us maintain a positive attitude throughout the course of the game. I was touched. Here I came from an informal pick-up game where everyone was fighting, and screaming, and complaining and these guys in a competive league game with an umpire, real bases, and uniforms and they're asking God to just allow everyone to have a good time. Score one for the Presbyterians. I can't wait until next week.

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