I was 9 or 10 years old when my parents signed me up to play little league. I was more interested in playing with my toys, my sister’s barbies and drawing and coloring so my parents thought little league would help to bring out more of the boy in me.
Well I had no interest in sports, except I liked the colors of the uniforms. The blue and red of the Chicago Cubs, and the dark blue and orange of the White Sox. So doing as my parents asked I agreed, but I had to be on the Cubs. All the little league teams adopted the named of various MLB teams. The Cubs were the most popular since we lived in the Chicago area. My parents pulled some strings and ta-da I was playing for the Cubs.
I was so excited! I remember thinking of what position I might like to play, and I thought I want to be a pitcher! That was the most important job on the field so that is the one I want to play. Only problem that I didn’t understand was that it involved throwing a ball, and throwing it very, very fast. I could barely catch the ball let alone throw it.
Once I made it on the Cubs, I found out not only would I not pitch, I would not play either. The Cubs were the best team in the little league and all the jocky kids were on the team. The coach was a big man who screamed, a lot. Practice for me consisted of running laps around the baseball field, doing the push-ups (the worst!) and being screamed at by the coaches. They saw no potential in my little league career, so that apparently meant “Let’s torture the fat kid.”
I quickly became depressed, and down. My parents saw this and saw that I wasn’t even getting a chance to play. So they did what any good agent would do, they had me traded. I was going to play for the Royals who were the worst team in the little league. The kids on the Royals were the most unpopular and least athletically inclined, in other words a perfect fit for me. I actually had fun playing with them, we would have snacks after practice and I got to play in actual games. I was an outfielder (right field mostly, sometimes center field) but that was fine by me. Playing in the outfield left me time to daydream which was what I’d rather be doing instead of playing baseball.
That would be the first and last baseball season for me. I was sad that I never got to try pitching in a game, but at least the Royals let me try in practice so I could see that I stunk. I guess we never know what are bad at or good at until we try things.