I finished my softball season two weeks ago. If you’re new here, I wrote about getting back to organized sports after 20 years off and adventures with a pulled hamstring the first, frigid night of the season. I’ve resisted a full season play-by-play, so as not to really bore you. But now that it’s over, I’ll say it felt good. I came around and found my line drive stroke, and I can still pick it a little at first.
That being said, I couldn’t help but wonder what it’d be like if I were even half-way back to my high school playing weight. Sure, I’d found my line drive stroke, but I couldn’t generate that explosive rotation that results in the long ball. And I was really, really slow. (Even for a guy who once singled off a fence 315 feet from home plate!) NFL commentator Hugh Millen describes slow, pocket quarterbacks as “potted plants”. That’s a pretty good description of my defense.
Maybe that’s why Hunter Morris’ story resonated with me. Morris, who just completed his junior year as Auburn University’s first baseman, has lost 25-30 pounds, apparently mostly through determination. The Anniston Star (which sounds like a supermarket tabloid devoted to former Friends actors) writes of how Hunter Morris improved his game by losing weight. He says it improved every aspect of his game – hitting, running, and fielding – and I don’t doubt it. Morris was just drafted in the 4th round by the Milwaukee Brewers. It’ll be fun to see if he ever makes the show.
I hope I get to play again, and if I do, I hope what works for a prime college athlete can work for an old-timer like me.