I have been playing sports my whole life weather it was organized or just with my friends on the street. Regardless of the setting I had some great moments and some bad moments. I am gonna share with you my greatest regret from my little league career as a long haired 12 year old left fielder.
It was a hot summer day and we were not a good team. Our game was against the mighty team from Fishtown. This team looked like King Leonidas and the 300 and they bombed the ball when they hit it. As a 12 year old kid that plays left field, the thought of playing against this powerhouse scared me because I knew it was gonna be a busy day for me.
For whatever reason I had a tendency to catch the ball at my waist Willie Mays style as opposed to catching the ball above my head as taught by my less then patient coaches. I didn’t do it as a form of showboating, it just felt natural for me to catch the ball that way. The first few innings go by and nothing was hit to me. I couldn’t believe that I made it so deep into the game and none of these grown men have hit the ball in my direction. I was actually relieved because I was so paranoid about making an error that would give up some runs.
So here we are at the top of the 6th in a 7 inning game and we were only down by 1 run. We actually had a chance to beat the greatest team of Fishtown kids ever assembled. They start putting some hits together and we are faced with bases loaded and two outs. One of the bigger Fishtown kids comes up to the plate, who already hit 2 homeruns over the fence and all I can see from leftfield is his thick mustache as he takes some practice swings. I am thinking that chances are if he hits one it will be over my head so I am getting myself ready to run backwards toward the fences.
Sure enough hit a high towering shot but fortunately it was right to me. So without taking a step, I laid my glove out waist high as I always did and the inning ended with that pop out. The team was clapping, I was excited and we knew that there was a chance to win this game. As I make it back to the dugout my coach pulls me aside and says “nice catch BUT YOU ARE NOT WILLIE MAYS SO STOP HOLDING YOUR GLOVE LIKE THAT”. Okay coach.
We tie the game in the bottom of the 6th inning and take the field for the top of the 7th inning hoping to hold the Fishtown boys scoreless and then win it in the bottom of the 7th. The first 3 batters all get singles and now they have bases loaded with no outs. Next batter up hits a high line drive to me and I run in on it and its gonna be an easy out, however all I can think about is “YOU ARE NOT WILLIE MAYS SO STOP HOLDING YOUR GLOVE LIKE THAT”. So the ball is about waist high and coming fast, I turn my glove the way I was instructed and the ball goes under the heel of my glove and between my legs. The bases clear, we go down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the 7th and the legend of my worst sports moment is born.