The World Series is over and it’s Monday and I need to find a shirt with Rogers Hornby’s quote on it, “People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.”
I think my body also rejects the end of the MLB season. After turning off the blaring cell phone alarm which had been incorporated into my dreams in the weirdest fashion, the first thing my brain found to focus on was the stiffness in my right shoulder. The joy of sleep-induced injuries.
I drove Sophie to her taekwondo class and continued south to CY Sports Center figuring someone would be there with a glove and interested in a game of catch. Chandler greeted me and suggested I head toward the back tunnel where Doug had set up.
A former All-American pitcher for University of Arkansas, Doug pitched in both the College World Series and for Team USA. Drafted by the Mets and Dodgers, Doug now gives pitching lessons at CY multiple days a week. He was working with David, a lean junior at Glendale.
“I love watching the Yankees hit bombs,” David said with a smile.
Hopefully David will pitch for the Yankees so he can continue to cheer on the Bronx bombers.
Doug motioned me into the tunnel and gave David a quick introduction as to what I’ve been doing this year.
I stretched as I walked and tossed the ball back to David. I loved listening to his throws explode into the pocket of the new Wilson. When he said he was warm, I sat nearby and listened in on the lesson while remembering my own days of pitching lessons under the tutelage of Ron and Scott and Coach Pittman. Doug gave consistently encouraging feedback as he helped David get the most out of his body.
Once David’s lesson ended, I started walking toward the front door and noticed Ryan hitting grounders on the big side of the building. I volunteered to help catch in. Luke’s an “everything-but-catcher” sophomore at Kickapoo and considerably bigger than I was when I was his age. Ryan gave Luke’s legs a second workout — “I lifted before I got here” — and afterwards Luke played catch while I continued to try and loosen up my shoulder.
With permission, Chandler borrowed Luke’s glove and joined in until I felt the alarm on my phone start to buzz and knew it was time to go pick up Sophie.
With only 62 days remaining in 2018, I’m not staring out any windows this year.
I’m playing catch and praying for a mild winter.