Katlyn softball

People welcome spring with open arms for a variety of reasons. For some, it’s the blooming of colorful flowers and trees that are finally providing shade. For others, it’s the joyous unfurling from seasonal depression; a chance to unthaw amidst sunlight and warmer temperatures. For many, it means patio season; Fourth Street and its tributaries buzz with the sound of clinking wine glasses and laughter.

For me, I welcome spring with all of the above — and with a pencil behind my ear and a baseball scorebook in my bag. For me, spring means baseball is here.

This pastime has weaved in and out of my life in several forms. When I was a young girl and we still lived in Woburn, Massachusetts, my family would take the Red Line to the Green Line and get off the T at Fenway Park. Every time we took the trip, we would take a family photo sitting on the bleachers wall

Alexe, my biological sister being tickled in the photo, would become a star softball pitcher for most of her young adult life. There were years we both played on rec leagues (the teams were often coached by my parents; gotta love that small town living), but she would go on to be a varsity pitcher all four years, as well as a pitcher on summer traveling teams.

I was not destined to be a great softball player (varsity cheerleading for football and basketball was more my cup of tea), but I am pretty good at some Wiffle ball, which we played a lot of in high school. My friends and I would meet at one of the several fields in Weare, or at the end of the street, where the dirt road came to the wood-line and little to no cars ever traveled that far.

Baseball and softball filled my summers and weeknights. Family vacations would bring us to Yankee Stadium (old and new), Camden Yards, and the Roger Centre in Toronto. When my sister got really good, I learned how to keep scorebook and often served as the team manager. I went to as many games as possible, and I’m glad that I did now that I live so far away.

Alexe was great at throwing strikes, and I was great at getting outs for catching the other team batting out order. Ever since then, I’ve been hooked on keeping scorebook. When I’m at a Dash game, you’ll be sure to see me with a Foothills Torch Pilsner in my left hand, and a pencil in my right; diligently keeping stats. With shelter-at-home, I’ve resorted to watching old games to help pass the time. It’s not the best, but it’s making the best of the current situation.

People are sad right now for a variety of reasons as COVID-19 continues to alter life as we know it. I’m sad, too, and the lack of televised baseball right now hasn’t helped. But there is great pleasure in knowing we’re trudging our way through this together, and life will return to normal.

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