Playful, Pius or Remembered Stuff

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Third Base Slide

"Oh, he slud into third and was throwed out!" Dizzy Dean was quoted from his play by play calling of a St. Louis Cardinals game. When the school children began imitating their favorite baseball announcer in school, reps from the PTA complained to the radio station. Dizzy was fired, but only for a short while. It seems the fans raised such a stink that the radio station felt more people were offended by the firing than by the hiring of ol Diz.

Well I was reminded of that fun piece of trivia simply because I thought I would relay the experience I had when I slud into third and was throwed out. Back about 1986 or '87 Faith Presbyterian Church in Long Beach had a team in the church slow pitch softball league. When they held practice they used to let a few of us from Grace Church, Carson, join them. We would often play a game of workup, or just choose up teams and play a game for practice. Bob Lee and I would usually join them. Once we had David Moore, a very dear and long time friend of mine, visiting us as a missionary on furlough. He liked softball too.

I was at bat, and both David and Bob were on the team in the field. David was playing third base and Bob was in left field. I whacked the ball between fielders and began to round the bases. As I rounded second base I could see Bob Lee pick up the ball and prepare to throw to third. But, hey, it was just a practice game and so why not be daring? So I dashed for third. I determined that Bob had to make a good throw and David had to make a clean catch of the ball and then tag me before I would be out. I decided to test their skills. I thought I would pull a slick fall away slide, where I slide away from the baseman, leaving my right leg behind me to catch the edge of the base with my foot. Yeah, I thought, I bet I can avoid his tag.

Well the throw came to David when I was about two thirds of the way there so I went into my dramatic slide, but my cleats caught in the grass and my left leg stopped short while the rest of my body kept going. I rolled over my knee, twisting it as I went and stopped several feet short of third base. David, my old friend, looked down at me and said, "Rol, whata ya think you're doing, you're not 18 any more." But I was writhing in pain by this time, so the insult didn't hurt until much later. They had to help me off the field. I walked with crutches for a week after that. Oh yeah, that was a memorable day.

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