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!”
It all started as a sort of lark. A few dads from my school were talking about forming a baseball team and jokingly (or not) asked me if I was interested in playing. I immediately declined. While I have played competitive men’s softball for decades, I hadn’t played baseball since I was sixteen years old. While I might be pretty good at softball (on my good days), I was never very good as baseball.
If I had one, my prime would have been a long time ago. I’m fifty years old, well past baseball age. I knew that a league like that wasn’t for me.
Continue reading “One Last Shot… A Real Life Baseball Story (Part 9 -The Second Start)”
It was a great joy to get out on the mound and pitch again.
Since my first outing on April 7, I have been reliving much of that game over and over in my mind. I have also been surprised by the amount of people who have asked about the game. It’s been fun to tell the story to so many others. (To re-cap: It had been going surprisingly well through three innings before it all fell apart in the fourth.)
I did show in that game that I could still throw strikes, that I could throw a lot of pitches, and that I could still get guys out.
But now that it’s over, all of that isn’t enough.
Continue reading “One Last Shot… A Real Life Baseball Story (Part 8 – The Weeks Between)”
Who cares about numbers?
Why do we have to reduce baseball to numbers? The numbers tell a story, but they don’t tell the whole story. Not nearly. Not at all.
I could give you the numbers, my stats, for the game I pitched, my first game pitched in thirty-four years, but they wouldn’t tell the whole story.
In fact, the numbers will obstruct; they will take away from all of it.
Continue reading “One Last Shot… A Real Life Baseball Story (Part 7 – The First Start)”
My new baseball career begins today. It’s Opening Day!
We’re playing in Bloomfield, New Jersey.
I am excited, hopeful, and nervous.
“Just throw strikes.” “Just throw strikes.” This is what I’ll tell myself.
I hope I pitch well enough to get a second shot at this in a few weeks. I don’t think a no-hitter is in my future. I just hope my pitching performance doesn’t result in a no-outer.
I’m sure my arm will hold out, I just hope my Achilles does as well.
This is the story of my attempt, at fifty years old, and after not playing any organized baseball since I was sixteen, to have a comeback, of sorts, and return to the game in a men’s 35+ baseball league – as a pitcher.
This is the fourth installment of the series. The previous installments are listed here:
One Last Shot… A Real Life Baseball Story (Part One)
One Last Shot… A Real Life Baseball Story (Part Two)
One Last Shot… A Real Life Baseball Story (Part Three)
Yesterday, April 3, brought with it a great deal of optimism and hope.
After work, in the early evening, I met my friend Michael Saffer to have catch. At the start of my career, almost thirty years ago, Michael was a student in my class. I had been his school teacher, now I’d be his student.
Continue reading “One Last Shot… A Real Life Baseball Story (Part 4)”
The following is the tale of my attempt to play competitive baseball for the first time in over thirty years. Since there is no way that I can hit (I could never hit a fastball), I offered to try out for this team in a 35+ league as a pitcher.
This is the third installment of the series.
Continue reading “One Last Shot… A Real Life Baseball Story (Part 3)”
This is a continuation of the story of my attempt to once again play baseball…
(Click here for Part 1 of this story.)
Buoyed by the fact that I had thrown, at least well enough with my son, I let my baseball dreams slowly grow in my mind. Here I was, fifty years old, a fifty year old man, the age long past when most people hang-up their spikes and their gloves, and I was thinking about getting mine back out, and on, and playing baseball once again.
I couldn’t wait to see what I could do.
Continue reading “One Last Shot…A Real Life Baseball Story (Part 2)”
I am fifty years old. I’ll turn 51 this summer. I’m no longer young. I’m not as flexible, strong, or physically able as I used to be. All of this comes with age. Of course. I’m not in the best shape of my life, but I’m not in bad shape. Last November, I ran the New York City Marathon. I was slow (4:47:47), but because I was coming off a torn Achilles and was under-trained, I was pleased. In the first Rocky movie, Rocky said, “All I wanna do is go the distance.” I went the distance. It was my 21st lifetime marathon. Not bad.
I also still play in two pretty competitive men’s softball leagues. One league is a 30+ league where I’m becoming one of the older players. I still play shortstop and handle myself well enough. The other league is a 50+ league where I play more of a utility role. That team won the league’s championship last year.
I love to play ball.
Continue reading “One Last Shot… A Real Life Baseball Story (Part 1)”
My first novel, Scattering The Ashes, will be published on October 22, 2019 by Artemesia Publishing and is now available for Pre-Order here.
This novel tells the fictional story of Sam Holmes as he struggles though the aftermath of losing his father and having the responsibility and obligation of fulfilling his late father’s final request.
Readers will become attached to Sam Holmes as he seeks to find himself in this trying period of his life. Initial reviews of the novel have been very positive.
Baseball is one (of many) themes that forms the framework of the story. Throughout this year, leading up to the book’s release, I will share excerpts from the novel here on these pages and on my Yankees site: www.startspreadingthenews.blog.
The following is an except from Chapter 5. In this scene, early in the novel before his father passes, Sam Homes awakes in pain the morning after his longest training run as he is preparing for his first marathon – the New York City Marathon. He is feeling doubtful about his abilities as a runner. Soon the prospect of a fictional encounter with two former baseball stars changes his outlook on the day…
(From Scattering The Ashes (2019, by Dr. Paul Semendinger, with permission from Artemesia Publishing)
The next morning, after I swung my legs out of bed, I realized I could barely stand. The plantar fasciitis in my foot screamed with pain every time I put even a tiny bit of weight on it. I had never felt such pain. Have you ever stuck hot needles into the bottom of your foot? I haven’t either, but it sure felt like I had. In addition to this foot agony, everything else, especially the fronts of my thighs, seemed to ache. I wondered if I had pushed my body further than it was able to handle. Was twelve miles my limit? Maybe I wasn’t built for a marathon. Dr. Alfonzo, my chiropractor (who is also a miracle healer), advised me to always stretch before a hard run and also to always ice this injury after the effort. Why didn’t I listen to his advice yesterday?
Continue reading ““Scattering the Ashes” Preview & Excerpt (Coming October 22, 2019)”