The Softball Tournament

Last Saturday, I participated in a charity softball tournament in Toronto. If you want a story with more details than you probably need, keep reading.

And if you don’t want that, tell me what your favourite potato chip flavour is in the comments below and be on your way.

Now then, for the rest of you great people – here’s the story. With pictures!

I took the subway Eat Fresh! downtown in the morning and arrived just after 9AM. Then, I had to walk from the subway to the baseball field, which was about a half hour away.

Thinking that I was a better walker than Google Maps gave me credit for, I thought I could get there in 27 minutes and 13 seconds, or so.

Nope.

I passed by the Rogers Centre – home of the Toronto Blue Jays – and realized I still had about 20 more minutes to go. I was already tired. It was hot. I was sweating.

I sweat easily. I sweat at the sight of blog post titles. (What’s up, Tosha!?)

But, it was a nice day. The sidewalks were empty. I liked that. Nothing worse than a crowded sidewalk. My gym bag carrying all my stuff was starting to weigh on me. Having it on one shoulder made me realize that women are superheroes for carrying purses.

Anyway, I got to the field at about 9:45. I was already winded. Maybe I shouldn’t have walked so quickly? My first game was at 10:30.

My team consisted of 10 people and I named us the Bad News Badgers. Most of the people on the team went to my university, but I didn’t know all of them. The entire roster was a big mash-up of friends and friends of friends.

For instance, my best friend since Grade 5 was there. So was my roommate from First Year (2009). As was the first person I ever met in my program. Along with a good friend I made in Second Year in residence. Worlds collided.

We started the first game and I was both the pitcher and lead-off hitter for our team. That’s what I was when I played softball as a kid, why break tradition?

I got the first batter out, no problem.

Fun Fact: My left foot is floating above the ground. I never put it down.

My left foot always floats above the ground. I never put it down.

The second batter was a girl. I hit her with the first pitch. Was it because she was crowding the plate? Did the wind take over the flight direction of the ball? Could she have moved before getting hit? Am I just a terrible pitcher? Did her beauty distract me that much?

I can answer “yes” to all of these questions.

After that, I suppose you can say I was rattled because they scored five runs before we got three outs. Thank goodness for the mercy rule.

Feeling the weight of the world on me as I stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the first, I promptly lined out to the shortstop. Great start!

I went out to pitch the second inning and threw no more than seven pitches to get three outs. Softball is a funny sport.

After that, I moved over to first base for the rest of the day. I like it over there. If you’re lonely, you can chat up the opponent when they get on base.

Plus, I can’t really play the outfield anymore. I can catch the ball; I just can’t throw as far as I used to after I hurt my arm at camp five years ago. That’s a story for another day.

Look at this perfect form. Look at it!

Look at that perfect form. Look at it!

We went on to win our first game, 6-5. That’s right, we didn’t allow another run after my disastrous first inning! Defence wins championships!

After the first game, we had about a three hour break before our next game. There was one food truck on location. And you know what they were selling?

TACOS. They were selling TACOS. This, mere days after I revealed on my blog that I’ve never had a TACO before and got heavily scrutinized in the comments section because of it.

I’ll cut to the chase, I didn’t get a taco. It was $10. Does it look like I’m made of money? (See photos for reference).

Just as I was afraid I might starve the day away, someone mentioned there was a Pizza Pizza down the street.

If you’re not from Canada, “Pizza Pizza” is a pizza chain. Like a chain restaurant. Not like a literal chain of pizzas…that would be crazy delicious. Now I’m hungry. Mmm pizza chain.

So, me and two friends decided to walk to get pizza. We had time. Well, twenty minutes into our walk and no Pizza Pizza was in sight for at least another fifteen minutes. It was devastating.

Not only was there no pizza, but we were walking on a sidewalk that had the most cyclists I’ve ever seen. It was like we were being surrounded by a gang and they were ringing their bells at us to taunt us.

I didn’t appreciate them shaking their heads as they passed us. We moved out of their way, what more did they want? A thumbtack in their wheel? SHARE THE SIDEWALK.

We turned back and stopped at a hot dog stand that we had seen earlier, but determined was Plan B in case pizza didn’t pan out. Well, here we were at Plan B. Plan B cost $4. And if you wanted fries, that was $7 more.

Excuse me for sounding cheap, but who in their right or left mind would buy fries for $7?

We got back to the baseball diamond, just as I was savouring the final bite and found out that our game had been moved up. We were now playing in 10 minutes.

I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to run around after inhaling a hot dog, but it’s not fun.

And don’t tell me Joey Chestnut just ate 70 hot dogs in 10 minutes. I don’t have an elevator shaft for a digestive system like he does.

We started the second game and instantly gave the other team a lead. I guess it had become our strategy.

They say you shouldn’t go swimming for an hour after you eat. Well, I say you shouldn’t do physical activity ten minutes after you eat.

I KNOW I’M MAKING A BIG DEAL OUT OF ONE HOT DOG. JUST GO WITH IT. THERE WAS MUSTARD ON IT. MUSTARD!!!!

Not to toot my own horn, but I had a pretty good game offensively. I had three doubles and a single, which was a line drive off of the pitcher’s hand.

I was trying to hurt as many people as I could that day, if you can’t tell.

I felt like a horse running the bases. Here a left turn, there a left turn, everywhere a left turn. Or at least like the toys in Toy Story whenever they heard Andy coming back to his room.

Those were two very solid similes.

Did I mention that this game was the semi-finals? It was the semi-finals.

We ended up losing this game, but the other team cheated twice. For the next few paragraphs I’m going to cry a river and you all can A) Grab a boat and paddle along; B) Build me a bridge; C) Swim – only if you haven’t eaten the last hour; D) Walk like Moses.

There was a one hour time limit on these games. We had about ten minutes left in this game and were winning by one run. At this point, we thought we had recorded the third out of the inning and were going to go back on offence. Nope.

Follow along closely now.

Their baserunner rounded second and took about four steps toward third base, but stopped when he realized he was going to be a dead duck. So, he decided to turn back to second. Well, our fielder had the ball at second and tagged him before he got back to the base.

The pitcher and I ran off the field to our bench. We turned around to give high-fives, but no one had followed us. Our team was still on the field. The baserunner was claiming that he was safe.

I was standing at first base, which provided the perfect angle. The guy was out and it was not even close. Not even close! Not to mention that he slid, which isn’t allowed either, but I’ll let that slide. (SEE WHAT I DID THERE?)

Oh yeah, there were no umpires. We had to referee ourselves. The first team we played was nice and fun. They were the kind of team you could share a quick laugh or comment with between innings. This team? None of that.

Being the nice team/pushovers that we were, we let the guy be safe. Their team then went on to take a four run lead. My team never recovered. Time ran out.

I said they cheated twice, here’s the other story.

During the fourth inning, they sent a batter to the plate that none of us had seen before. In my head I thought to myself, “Who’s this donkey?”

You can’t just enter the game halfway through. That’s called “batting out of order”. Or is it called “cheating”? Either way, I knew as soon as I saw his batting stance that he was going to hurt us. And hurt us he did.

“Apparently”, he was “substituting” for “another” “player”.

The kids these days would look at that last sentence and say “quotation mark game strong”. Thanks.

Am I bitter? A little bit. My team should’ve won. But it’s alright.

We had fun. We had integrity. We had all the cliche one-liners that losers say.

After all was said and done, I got my hand on a nice orange! The organizers had a fruit bowl. A fruit bowl! Oh happy day! I was dying for some nourishment.

Nourishment!

I peeled that orange open with no regard for sanitation or public decency. The juice got all over my dirt-filled hands, as I ate it like an apple.

I just imagined myself as a cast member on Survivor and thought if it was okay for them to eat like this, then it was okay for me.

Then I made the walk back to the subway. At this point, I was starting to cramp up everywhere. My calves felt like a stomach does when it growls. I also felt a pain in one of my big toes. (I told you there would be more details than you would want).

Oh, and my sunburn was setting in!

Walking in the opposite direction were dozens of individuals dressed in bright colours, few clothes, and questionable haircuts. Yup, they were headed to the Digital Dreams Music Festival. Yay electronic dance music. Yay.

That last paragraph was dripping in “I couldn’t care less”. 

I got to the subway after logging about 20,000 steps for the day, and pretty much collapsed on the seat. And then a lady got on with a stroller, so I gave her my seat.

I’m going to leave out the part where I only stood for 30 seconds before another seat opened up because then I won’t get as much praise for giving up my seat.

On Sunday, I woke up in so much pain. I couldn’t move my legs at all. I hadn’t been in that much pain since the day after I went cross country skiing in Grade 7. What an awful field trip.

Monday wasn’t much better. It was hard just getting up from the couch.

I aggravated muscles in places I didn’t even know I had places.

But it was all worth it. I hadn’t played in a game like this since 2013 and it felt good to be on a team again. It made me wish that I had the talent to be a professional athlete. Playing sports and making money would be the best thing imaginable.

The entire day was a lot of fun, spent with some good people. That’s all I could ask for.

If anyone needs me, I’ll be on the 60-day Disabled List with what I’m classifying as a “Sore Everything”.

These are boats on water.

These are boats on water – the backdrop to the tournament.

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About Paul

This is the part where I'm supposed to write something interesting about myself and you'll read it and think, "That's not that interesting." So let's not do that and just think about pizza instead, on the count of three. One, two, three. Donuts. Now, wasn't that interesting?
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49 Responses to The Softball Tournament

  1. So does this mean you still haven’t tried a taco?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Sounds like you had a great day. And to answer your chip question…. My favorite chips are flaming hot cheetos. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. James says:

    I think the real winnerin your story was softball. Which being British I don’t really understand cos we don’t really have it here. I don’t understand tacos either – I think I once saw a ‘Taco Bell’ in the UK but I didn’t go in and I’ve never seen one since. I think what you call chips, we call crisps. My favourite crisps are roast Beef Monster Munch. You probably don’t have them, but if you ever come here you should try them. They’re in a yellow packet. They’re amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Interesting! Softball is essentially baseball except you throw the ball underhand, as well as a few other minor rule differences. Oh yes, we have Taco Bell’s around here. I’ve never had a reason to go in though. I just looked up roast beef monster munch…they look delicious!

      Liked by 1 person

      • James says:

        They are. They also come in ‘pickled onion’ and ‘flaming hot’ flavour. I find it difficult to accept ‘flaming hot’ as a flavour but they’re not bad. Roast Beef are the best though. I understand baseball from movies but we don’t have that either. We do have cricket, which is similar only the rules are more complicated and it can take up to five days for a game to finish. It’s surprisingly popular…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        Putting the word “flaming” in front of “hot” is probably just a point of difference from a marketing perspective. I’ve tried to teach myself cricket by watching, but it’s tough to understand. It might be the numbers on the TV screen that throw me off.

        Liked by 1 person

      • James says:

        Grew up with it, played it, still don’t understand it…

        Liked by 1 person

  4. rebbit7 says:

    Love this! In response to your question: I’m not a huge chip fan, but if I had to choose, I guess Lay’s barbecue is a good one to fall back on. Hope you recover!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This had me laughing at work! Loved it! Cannot wait to read more!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jess says:

    It’s hilarious that you mentioned Plan B because we have a few here in Connecticut too, only I had never heard of it before. A few months ago, I went on a date and the guy was like, “Have you ever had Plan B?” Little did I know, we were passing a Plan B, so a little shocked by this very personal question I said, “……..that’s a very odd thing to ask…” Then he realized what he had just asked me and began laughing, assuring me that he was talking about the burger place and not unfortunate events.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lolz. My favorite potato chip flavor is barbecue.

    Question: We’re the fries topped with cheese or chili at all? Then I would pay $7 for it!! If not….no lol.

    You should try a Chicago Style Hot dog. It has tomatoes, onions, peppers and is just fabulous.

    Lol I came to your post to read about food😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Ooo good question about the fries! I don’t believe they were. I don’t think this vendor had the capabilities to do that. BUT, if they did come with cheese or chili, that would justify the price.
      That sounds like a busy hot dog! I’d probably drop most of it on the sidewalk/myself haha

      Liked by 1 person

  8. rebecak says:

    Hahahaha!! I love this!! If only you knew how absolutely terrible my softball team is! I won’t bore you with the details… I only play because my friends make me (insert eye roll here).
    On a separate note… Never tried a taco?!?!? I need to go read that post. You can’t be trusted! People that have never eaten a taco CAN’T. BE. TRUSTED!!
    I say all of that as I realize that I just made tacos for my 2 kids… And we celebrate Taco Tuesday every week and sometimes on other days of the week as well…
    Come to Gainesville and we’ll get you your first taco!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Barb Knowles says:

    I’m still recovering from the news that you’ve never had a taco. I for real can’t believe it. There is CHEESE on a taco, for heaven’s sake. I like sports so I loved the detail in this post. But the left foot floating line gave me one of my burst out laughing moments!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Barb, I keep looking up pictures of Tacos in an attempt to talk myself into them. I just can’t do it.
      Yes! I’m glad someone noticed that left foot comment and enjoyed it!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. peckapalooza says:

    I’m way behind on reading blogs, so I’m playing catch up now (which is totally what vacation is for, right?). Maybe not putting your left foot down, ever, is what got you so winded while walking from the subway to the field? And I’m completely on board with a pizza chain. How do we make this work? Who do we know in science?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      You’re right, hopping on one leg is pretty tiring. I never thought of that! I’m going to be mad if someone creates the pizza chain before we do. I guess we can contact Bill Nye?

      Like

  11. I was in search for a blog because I had to make a comment on a blog for one of my classes and I stumbled upon this one and got caught up in it! I found it both comical and serious in parts, and for some reason I enjoyed the part about the orange!

    Liked by 1 person

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