On the Diamond: The curse continues | AspenTimes.com

On the Diamond: The curse continues

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” I cautioned our team not to mess with the streak. They brushed me off in typical fashion.

One week after our monumental first coed softball victory, the team opted to go with new black raspberry sherbert-colored uniforms. I’m not overly superstitious, but I was skeptical of the move from the start.

And who’s laughing now? Well, none of us. We haven’t won in nearly a month, and I’m convinced we’re cursed. Consider these events from Monday’s game against Bruno’s:

– I manage to bruise teammate Rachel Whitsitt’s palm during pregame warm-ups. It’s quite possibly the highlight of the evening.

– The left side of our infield had more holes than a chain-link fence. After committing his sixth error (I stopped counting after that), our shortstop says his confidence is waning and asks me if the paper will buy him a protective cup. I tell him the Times already handed out pens this year, so he’ll probably have to wait until 2009.

– We hit like the Golden Girls.

– My supposed athletic prowess disappeared. After dropping a routine pop up down the left field line, I slam my glove to the ground (yeah, it was the leather’s fault) then figure I look like I was in marching band, not on the baseball team, in high school.

OK, I did both, but you get the idea. (Try forming the top part of a grand piano at the 50-yard line while marching in perfect unison to George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” while holding a saxophone and wearing itchy, skin-tight polyester pants, then you can judge me.)

– Go ahead and finish that laugh at my expense. I’ll wait.

– We pull off the miraculous plays, but fumble the routine. Kayden Christensen and Janet Urquhart snagged ringing line drives, then Paul Conrad scooped up a slow roller at third, paused and fired a dead duck that landed in the boulders up the first-base line.

– Cindy Hirschfeld fails to slide or get out of the way at second base on my grounder up the middle, and both of us are called out. We’re all confused. It’s not like Cindy raised both hands and screamed or slid in with metal cleats pointed toward the second baseman’s jugular.

And I thought rec. softball rules was an oxymoron.

– Conrad jogs (actually, it was more of a dawdle) off the field complaining of shooting pain in his left arm. Two days later, I walk into the office and he jumps (actually, it was more of a sorry excuse for a hop) from behind a file cabinet and proudly points to his Barney-inspired violet cast.

“I have a hairline fracture,” he said with a big grin.

“Oh, I thought you spilled grape juice on yourself,” I replied, adding that I loved his team spirit.

Too bad he broke his wrist and not the curse.


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