Many of you I'm sure have awaited the results of my old timers game performance (I prefer "classic", thank you very much), so here you go:
Pre-game: big breakfast and nothing to eat within 5 hours of game time, except advil and water. If it ain't in the belly, it won't get tossed up, right?
Threw to get loose, then gave up, realizing "loose" is not something a fifty year old achieves. Stretching was interesting-at the mid-century mark, there's a very very fine line between stretching and pulling.
Didn't trip when jogging out for player introductions. So far, so good.
Not in starting lineup; Praise the Lord!
Euphoria dampened quickly-skipper says "You're pitching the third."
Third inning, out I go. First warmup pitch, I knock my own hat off on the windup; hey, it was 1974 when I last threw a baseball off of a mound in a real game. Except for the feeling of an ice pick in the shoulder, and the prior pitchers having a hole the size of the Grand Canyon at my landing spot, not too bad. Quick self assessment-no balance point, no rhythm, no velocity, no breaking ball at all (it just spins and mocks me), but a little control is still there.
First two pitches are strikes, then catcher calls time and home plate area crowd and ump crack up laughing. It seems his cup slid down his pants leg. Does Pedro have these distractions?
Line score: 2 innings, 3 hits allowed, no walks, no runs, no hit batters. Dad burned arm feels great-really!
3 innings later, after a well-earned break, I'm positioned at first and take a relay, turn to throw to the plate, and learn the feeling of absolute agony as my right shoulder tells me "yea, right, you think I'm still loose?" Pure pain. My throw to the plate gets there...on the fourth bounce.
Highlight of my night: I got to face my collegiate pitching son, who proved he's a good kid and threw me a harmless slow strike down the middle, that I grounded to second..and please, somebody investigate, 90 feet has gotten longer.
(1) All pitchers instinctively cover first on balls to the right side. My instincts were fine, but nobody told me first base is waaaaaaaaaay over there these days. Lousy ump said I had to catch the ball AND step on the bag. And he called the guy safe on a little technicality like that. Like HE'S perfect.
(2) After about 4 pitches, somebody in the crowd yelled "Throw the heater!", to which I hear my beautiful wife reply "That WAS the heater!"
An absolute blast; the "classics" enjoyed nine innings of wise cracks, stories of years gone by, resurfacing of old nicknames, and there was actually some decent baseball played at times. Oldest player was 59 and had two singles. And yes, with the help of Advil, I was able to hold the hymnal the next morning in Church.