One Last Shot – Season 3, Post 2: My Spring Training

(Note: This article can also be found on Start Spreading The News.)

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Opening Day is a month, a week, and a day away. That’s my Opening Day. The day my baseball season begins.

In 2019, after not pitching in any competitive baseball game for over 34 years, I made a comeback as the old guy, a 50+-year-old pitcher, in a highly competitive wood bat 35-year-old + baseball league. I pitched again last year.

The upcoming 2021 season will be my third.

After proving to myself that I can hold my own on the mound, and even pitch complete nine inning games, I am no longer content with just being able to do that.

Now I want to win.

Continue reading “One Last Shot – Season 3, Post 2: My Spring Training”

One Last Shot – Season 3, Post 1: This Time It’s For Real

(This post can also be found on my Yankees blog Start Spreading the News.)

January 2021

***

This time it’s for real!

…or so I tell myself.

Yes. For goodness sake, this time it is for real.

This coming season, the 2021 season, will be mine. This will be my chance to shine. To pitch well. To win. Often.

And I have a plan to make sure it happens.

Continue reading “One Last Shot – Season 3, Post 1: This Time It’s For Real”

Chronicle of a Comeback (vol. 25) – They Call This Progress!

As I chronicle my recovery from Achilles Surgery along with my quest to get in the proper shape to run another marathon, I am pleased to report that I am making great progress.

Continue reading “Chronicle of a Comeback (vol. 25) – They Call This Progress!”

Replacing One Type of Pain With Another

I just got off the treadmill.  I’m tired.  I’m in some pain.  I’d like to go to bed, but it’s morning.  I’m tired.  Real tired.  But, underneath all of this exhaustion, I feel alive.  I feel more alive than I’ve felt in a long time.

It’s good to feel ALIVE!

Continue reading “Replacing One Type of Pain With Another”

One Last Shot… A Real Life Baseball Story (Part 14): Making It Back To The Mound

It had been over a month since I last pitched.

On June 23, I enjoyed pitching against Jersey City. Then, on June 25, I had my first visit with an orthopedist who did as I feared he would… he shut me down.

On June 25, my baseball season ended. On June 25, my softball seasons ended. And, on June 25, my hopes for running the 2019 New York City Marathon also ended.

The orthopedist looked at my swollen right ankle, the MRI that showed tears in the Achilles tendon, and his own X-Rays. He said, “This isn’t good, Paul.” The word “surgery” came up, but he also said, “I’m not ready to go there yet.” I think the thing that made him shut me down totally was when I could perform a simple exercise in his office – standing on just my right foot and going to “tippy toes.” When I couldn’t do that, it cinched the deal.

I was given a night brace, an anti-inflammatory prescription, and little hope.

I left the office with the brace, a discouraged countenance, and a follow-up appointment.

But all of that is old news.

Continue reading “One Last Shot… A Real Life Baseball Story (Part 14): Making It Back To The Mound”

One Last Shot… A Real Life Baseball Story (Part 13) – The Doctor, The Bench, and an All-Star

This is the story I didn’t want to write…

***

Two days after I pitched on June 23, I had my first appointment with the orthopedist.  This doctor is very well known and very respected.  He took X-Rays, put me through a battery of small tests, he examined my legs, took careful note of my right Achilles, and, after all of that, said that my baseball season, my softball season, and my running season are all over.

I knew this was coming.

We all knew this was coming.

I just didn’t want to hear it.

I still don’t.

Continue reading “One Last Shot… A Real Life Baseball Story (Part 13) – The Doctor, The Bench, and an All-Star”

One Last Shot… A Real Life Baseball Story (Part 12 – Game Four, The Story of a Catcher)

Well, I am the happiest 0-4 pitcher on the planet.

***

I pitched well enough, I guess. I gave up more than a few hard hit balls for loud hits, some of them long drives for extra bases. I also gave up some weak ground balls for hits. And a few bloopers also fell in.

On the other hand, some popups were dropped or missed altogether by the fielders behind me, a few grounders went under the infielders’ gloves, and a few would-be ground outs resulted in poor throws that instead netted no outs.

(And, to be fair, a couple of the loudly hit balls were caught by the fielders behind me. If nothing else, my pitching kept the team on its feet.)

In short, for much of the game, there were a lot of runners on the bases as I pitched.

Continue reading “One Last Shot… A Real Life Baseball Story (Part 12 – Game Four, The Story of a Catcher)”

One Last Shot… A Real Life Baseball Story (Part 11 – Game Three)

The week leading to my third start was rainy and filled with more evening responsibilities that interrupted my throwing program, but, like in previous weeks, I was able to have a very special catch with a very special person.

Continue reading “One Last Shot… A Real Life Baseball Story (Part 11 – Game Three)”

One Last Shot… A Real Life Baseball Story Part 10 – RAIN!

My third start of the season was scheduled for Sunday, May 5.  We were going to be back to Wright’s Field in Bloomfield to play a different team from the area. It seems that a few towns, Bloomfield being one of them, have more than one team in the league. I was looking forward to this opportunity to see if I could build off my modest success the week before.

This would also be my first chance to pitch in back-to-back weeks – a true test of whether or not my arm, and body was up to this challenge.

It wasn’t to be.

Rain, dreadful rain, washed away our chances to play.  

Continue reading “One Last Shot… A Real Life Baseball Story Part 10 – RAIN!”