Jock Talk with Joel Charron: Keep your eye on the ball

My dreams of pulling an Amherstburg Cardinals red jersey over my head shattered as I look at my broken glasses lying on the green turf of the United Communities Credit Union Complex indoor soccer facility.

Last month, I thought it would be fun to try out for the senior Cardinals baseball team. It has been roughly 17 years since I tried out for a baseball team. It was my chance to get out there, have some fun, get a little story out of it and perhaps surprise a few of the guys and show them I can do more than just write baseball.

The tryouts start ok, first a few wind spirits to get the blood flowing, I made sure I stretched really good before hand, didn’t want to be that guy who gets injured on the first day.

After a few spirits and a sweaty brow, I realized that this was going to be a lot harder than what I though it was going to be, or maybe I was just really thirsty from the running. Any way I looked at it, I knew it was going to be a long night.

I proceeded to the next drill, where Sr. Cards hitting coach Frank D’Alimonte was teaching the fine points of hitting. You know,  keep your hips square and transfer your weight to the front leg as you exploded through the ball.

To simulate a swing we didn’t use a ball and bat, we used our arms and a whiffle ball, which probably was a good thing because knowing my luck the bat would slip out of my hand in mid-swing, fly across the field and nail someone in the back. So needless to say pretending to swing a bat was ok with me.

Once that drill was done and after I guzzled back my two bottles of water I brought with me, I stopped to take a few pictures for my story. Actually I was quite winded and needed the break, taking pictures was the perfect excuse, although I did actually need them.

Once that was complete we moved on to the next drill, fielding. Ken Thrasher was on one side on the field, hitting balls to a group of guys on the other side. Instead of running to the side and join my fellow player, I caught for Ken, well that lasted all of two swings.

After Ken sent the ball flying into the glove of the fielder, the ball came sailing back…into my face.

Yup, I forgot the first rule of baseball, keep your eye on the ball.

I looked away for a micro second and by the time I looked back, the ball was already crushing my mug, just above the right eye and got just enough of my nose.

My black, half framed glasses went flying off my face in two pieces and I fell to my knee holding the right side of my face.

The only thought going through my head, “I can’t believe that happened, I hope no one saw it”. Well I was wrong, almost everyone saw it.

Slowly, I picked up my glasses and my pride off the turf and took a seat on the sideline, I couldn’t play anymore, my glasses were broke and I couldn’t see.

One by one the Sr. Cards came to see if I was ok before cracking a couple jokes, but I didn’t mind, I deserved it, after all I was that guy who got injured on the first day.

Watching the rest of the practice I to came to grips, I wasn’t a good baseball player 17 years ago and I’m definitely not a good baseball player now.

Playing isn’t for me anymore; I know where I belong and that’s reporting and taking pictures of the game, not being part of it.  And I’m perfectly ok with that; after all I won’t get a ball in the face when I’m typing at the computer.

One response to “Jock Talk with Joel Charron: Keep your eye on the ball”

  1. Trev says:

    Great story. I was laughing the entire time. Keep up the good work.