On the Diamond: A true gem | AspenTimes.com

On the Diamond: A true gem

Jon Maletz

Unlikely. Unbelievable. And completely improbable.

With the Times trailing 11-4 in the bottom of the seventh Monday night, I had put the car keys back in my shorts pocket and started corralling loose balls to put in the bat bag. The squad from Juice was younger, more athletic ” and better-looking. Besides a few amazing catches from our star left fielder, it looked like, for the second week in a row, it just wasn’t our night.

Something happened, however. And what transpired during those 10 minutes will go down in the annals of rec league softball lore. Maybe not, but it sure was impressive.

Balls started falling, the Juice defense finally showed a few cracks. Heck, when I go 4-for-4 with a handful of RBIs and don’t make an error, you know some force is working in our favor. I’m not positive, but I think it was the cooler full of beer. Yeah, definitely the beer.

Every batter, it seemed, reached base in the inning and proceeded to round the bases. I had to pinch myself when I came up with runners on second and third because, somehow, I was the tying run. The outfield backed up, giving me way too much respect (word of my strikeout from last week must not have spread, thankfully), and I dumped the ball into left center field. Both runs scored and I advanced to third on a string of bad throws.

Becca Magill from legals, in her first appearance of the season, strode up to the plate with confidence in her eyes. As the ball left the pitcher’s hand, I eagerly waited for the crack of the bat. It was far from breathtaking, but it sure did work. Becca barely made contact, but the ball dropped softly in fair territory up the first base line, then stopped. Both runners were safe. The deficit had been erased.

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Every member of the Times was on his feet, exchanging high-fives. It’s only rec league softball, but for most of us, this was our World Series ” the only way I’m getting on a Major League field these days is if I’m trespassing or dodging oncoming security.

In the midst of the hoopla, most of us forgot that the game was far from over. We went out on defense and proceeded to throw the ball around the infield en route to allowing four runs.

We had one more chance to match the score and extend the game further, but went in order in the eighth.

An anticlimactic finish? Maybe. But if you ask me or my teammates, memories of this games won’t soon fade.