As a kid I was always very athletic…in my head. In my mind’s eye I made dazzling shoe-top catches and hit long shots over the fence, but in reality I was pretty awkward. I tried really hard, don’t mistake me, but my efforts usually produced boringly average results.
Even so, most of the time (except for the occasional bouts of ennui I experienced at softball practices) I loved being involved in the Willoughby Baseball League. For one thing, my brother was on a boys’ team during that same time, and I liked that we both had WBL uniforms, practices and games down at Todd Fields. I also loved having my family come to my games. If I close my eyes and really put myself back…in my uniform and mitt, hands on my knees in the outfield, sun on my back and feeling silly chanting “Hey, batter batter!”…I can still feel a little of that nervous aliveness that comes from performing in front of loved ones. That feeling that, even though you know they will tell you how well you did no matter what happens, you yearn to do something spectacular for them to see.
I don’t remember how many years I played in the league (these photos are from 1977 and 1978), but I do know that I gained a lot by being part of it. I learned to get along with a different group of girls than those I went to school with, to practice even when I didn’t feel like it, to care about contributing to the team’s success and to overcome my nervousness enough to play my part in that success. Yup, team sports can do all that!
I based this layout on the following PageMaps sketch from February and used papers from the BasicGrey “Oliver” 6×6 pad: