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Fightin’ Scouts Survive Season

Sat., July 29, 1995

I believe in keeping readers updated on key developments from past columns. That’s the kind of thorough journalist I happen to be.

So today I’m going to tell you what happened with the Boo Radley’s Fightin’ Scouts, the softball team I manage in the co-ed DDD county league. I last wrote about this team during the pre-season, when hopes were high, optimism was in the air, and we had yet to make a single trip to the emergency room.

Well, the season is over now, a season that ranks as the most successful, and also the most traumatic, ever in the history of the Fightin’ Scouts.

Of course, this was, technically, our first season. But even if it hadn’t been, it would still have been the most traumatic. That’s because of our casualty list: two broken ankles, one torn knee ligament, one facial hemorrhage, and two pulled groins.

Our first disaster occurred early in the season, when a player we call Tornado Joe launched himself into a beautiful hook slide at third base. Tornado Joe immediately began writhing in pain and violating the league’s casual profanity rule.

We exhorted Tornado Joe to get up and score, but he did not seem inclined to do so, since his foot was pointing backwards at the time.

So we picked him up and drove him to the emergency room where doctors confirmed he had indeed broken his ankle. I speak for all Fightin’ Scouts when I say we were deeply saddened by this event, since we had to forfeit both games of the doubleheader.

Our second disaster occurred off the field, when our star third baseman, Chowder (so named for her Boston roots and her outstanding infield chatter) fell off her mountain bike. Her foot, unfortunately, did not fall off her mountain bike. Her foot remained attached to the toe clip. She popped a ligament in her knee, and was out for the season.

Somewhere around this time, our power-hitting second baseman, Possum Boy (a native of Tennessee), pulled a groin muscle. This injury wouldn’t have been season-threatening except for two things. First, he aggravated it a few weeks later while being chased by a moose in Banff.

If I told him once, I told him a dozen times: Keep the heck away from moose during your rehab period.

Then, he got a little bit over-zealous with the ice pack one day. He became the only player in the history of the Fightin’ Scouts to give himself frostbite of the groin.

Our fourth and fifth disasters occurred at the same game. During warmups, one of our players nailed our star pitcher, Dixie, right in the mouth with a ball. Dixie bled profusely all over the field for about five minutes, and then he drove himself to a doctor to close the wound.

With true Fightin’ Scout spirit, however, he returned for the second half of the doubleheader. He immediately got caught in a rundown. They tagged him out right on the mouth. This time he had to leave for good because he was about two quarts low.

Then, just an inning or two later, an opposing player stomped on the foot of our star first baseman, Big Timber (so named because she’s from Montana and she wields some heavy lumber). She writhed, screamed, etc., but by this time we were old hands at this stuff.

“Looks like we’ll have another cast to sign,” we sighed. It was yet another broken ankle.

Nothing too serious happened again until the playoffs, when Possum Boy, recovered from his groin pull, managed to pull his other groin. Don’t even ask.

The amazing thing about this season was that we still managed to finish with a 10-5 record, which isn’t bad when you consider three of those losses were forfeits due to injury. And, in the playoffs, with three of our best Fightin’ Scouts on crutches, we still made it all the way into the championship game.

We almost lost that game by forfeit, too. My car, which was heading to the game with about half the roster of the Fightin’ Scouts, chose that moment to blow a cylinder head gasket. Somehow, we managed to get to the game on time and play in a sparkling manner. We held a two-run lead going into the bottom of the final inning. Then, we lost our lead and lost the game, due to the fact that the entire team blew a head gasket. So we finished second, which was still the best finish in our history.

Our godlike owner, Andy Dinnison of Boo Radley’s, was delighted.

“They gave 110 percent all season,” he said. “Maybe they wouldn’t be such losers today if they had given 111 percent.”

Yeah, wait until next year. I have formulated a strategy guaranteed to result in our best season ever.

Accident insurance. We’re going to buy some accident insurance.

, DataTimes

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