Softball is many things. Today, softball is a Pi Day potluck.

Everyone is in a single file line, scanning every entree option, actively thinking what the best combination of food is to pile onto their plates. Their stomachs growl as the coffee is finally digesting and wearing off from the morning.  Every ounce of frustration from the morning will be quelled by the comfort food that is about to console them. Many question how much food they are able to serve themselves while still walking away with dignity. They think to themselves, As long as I get a vegetable I can eat whatever else I want. Or maybe that’s just my reasoning.

Needless to say, everyone is famished, and this is the best part of what everyone knows is the start of a VERY long day.

Softball is many things. It exists in the littlest of traditions. Standing in that line, looking at the spread of food, I was brought back to every double header I ever played at Loyola.

Our families would collaborate about who was in charge of feeding the 16 ravenous players between games.

They would try so hard to maintain a healthy diet for us, ensuring that there was a well-balanced spread of veggies and proteins. However, being the swollen-hearted mothers that they are, they couldn’t fight the urge to spoil our palates by bringing sugary sweet snacks and belly fattening carbs. After all, the way to an athlete’s heart is through her stomach.

We would all stand in line, the topic of gossip being whose angelic mother was in charge of this heavenly spread, and where is she so that I can hug her right now, and OH MY GOD is that a nutella smore brownie? We’d whisper and laugh about how much food we would try to combine (and fit) on that ridiculously tiny plate. It has to be the dessert plate, right? Because I’m going to need 5 of those.

Then we’d grab our meal, sit on the turf by our parents to talk softball as long as we could stand it, or sneak in as much time with them before we were quarantined in the dugout for game time. We’d soak in that 20 minutes of carefree, easy-going energy between games where our switch was turned off, where we weren’t division I athletes, where we didn’t have to focus, where we didn’t have to get the hit, or make the perfect throw, or run, or dive, or push ourselves to our mental limits. We could sit there and just be. For 20 minutes.

Finally, our coaches would signal for us, and we’d rally together as a team, pinching the newly formed fat on our bellies and trudging slightly more slowly during the pregame warm-up.

We’d head back to the dugout, and turn on our switch.

See, softball does not just exist between the lines of the field. It exists in the every day. True, my softball switch may be in the “off” position currently, but every now and again, I see that light flicker. Sometimes, in the form of a Pi Day potluck.

Softball is many things. Today, softball is a Pi Day potluck.

 

 

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9 thoughts on “Softball is a Pi Day Potluck

  1. I loved reading this! I became a softball fan late in life and never really had the chance to play. I really enjoy watching our high school team play (including some former students) and also enjoy the whole culture of softball. Your post brought me right to the field!

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  2. You have such strong memories of your time playing softball. The vividness comes through in your writing. With the Pi Day reference I thought you were going to do something with stats and instead you found the off switch. Love that you keep us on our toes.

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  3. So much I love about this slice: Pi Day Potluck (new one- love it!), “As long as I get a vegetable I can eat whatever else I want,”- that is definitely me too, then the comparisons to your softball feasts. When you started slicing did you ever think that you could compare so much to softball? The more we look for things, the more we see them and softball is and was so important to your frame of reference!

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    1. It’s such a point of passion in my life that has taught me so much, so I knew I could write a lot. However, I’ve definitely been pushed to make connections more than I would’ve thought.

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  4. Softball is a great sport. I am not a super sport, not really very athletic at all, but playing high school sports taught me many life lessons and holds many special memories. I love that you visit your “past life” in your everyday life now.

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  5. This is my new favorite. (Do I say that every time?) Okay, here was my favorite: Softball is many things. It exists in the littlest of traditions. I can’t put my finger on why I love those lines, but I did.

    Also, the way you snuck the line about the Nutella in there, just as it would have snuck in your thoughts while making your plate was perfect.

    Mostly, though, I love how you made me think about the downtime between games, how the pressure was off for just a few minutes, but it was coming right back on and you guys knew it.

    Man, I loved this one.

    Liked by 1 person

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