The Slice

FRIDAY, JUNE 17, 2011

That way lies madness

I overheard a couple of younger men talking about softball. It was clear they took it pretty seriously. And I had half an impulse to warn them.

Careful guys, I might have said. Let this become too important to you and you'll remember certain softball games for the rest of your life.

You doubt me? OK, I'll prove it.

At my first newspaper job, I was on the company slow-pitch team. We weren't loaded with great players, so I was the shortstop. Until, that is, a woman in the ad department started dating this guy named Chuck Heater.

Chuck, who I recall being a nice guy, had been a running back at the University of Michigan about five years before. There was no doubt he was the superior athlete. So I moved to third base.

In our big grudge-match game with the local police department's team, we were down a run in our last at-bat.

Another home run by Chuck could do it for us.

But I hit a line drive right at someone for our last out. Chuck, who batted right after me, never got to come up.

That was more than 30 years ago. And I still remember.




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