Back in the day, I played a ton of pickup baseball with the kid pack that roamed our suburban neighborhood. No softball for me—I played hardball with the boys, could handle any position, and hit from both sides of the plate. (Ha! Get your minds out of the gutter!) I played catcher with no more gear than a first-baseman’s glove, could hold my own on the pitcher’s mound, and even got a cheer from the guys in the Cape League (single-A ball) for snagging a fly ball deep in the outfield during the friends-and-family game one summer.
Suffice it to say that I didn’t used to throw like a girl. (And by that, I mean the goofy overhand flip-the-wrist-over-the-shoulder thing like this. Not the stuff that good softball players do! They could totally knock my block off.)
Yesterday, though, the scene went something like this:
Arizona (from upstairs): Can you toss me my brown fleece?
Me (with head in the drier): Yep. Hang on.
(I dig out the fleece in question, head for the bottom of the stairs where he’s standing at the top, and think, Gotta throw it hard to reach him. Winding up, I give the hardest underhand toss I can manage—And let go too late. The fleece flies straight up, whams into the ceiling, rattling the ceiling panel and sending down a shower of dust along with the fleece.)
Arizona (normally the most positive and if-you-can’t-say-something-nice-don’t-say-anything kind of guy): *hoots* Worst. Throw. Ever!
Me (wearing a layer of dust and a brown fleece draped over my head): It slipped, or something!
But, really, it’s official: I now throw like a girl. I don’t know if it’s lack of practice, four decades of shoulder injuries and rotator cuff problems, or what, but the sidearm is gone and the curve ball is a fond memory. It’s even fifty-fifty when I toss a paper ball for the cats, whether it’ll go where I intended or wind up bonking the cat instead. (Much to the cat’s disgust, I might add.)
So how about you? Did you have your pitching arm and lose it? Were you always a girl-thrower (hm ... maybe not the right term, that?)? Or are you still a deadeye?