By Sabrina Jaspers, special to the News
I jog in from the infield and the coach slaps me on the back and says, “Great play, kid”.
Another player gives me solicited batting pointers while I’m on deck. Her advice to “choke up” works and I get a base hit.
I have been playing softball since I was eight. I played at Rosedale, then Eastmount, then onto a fast-pitch team that played all over southern Ontario. There we played against so-called “farm teams” where pitchers were 6-foot, 17-year-old girls who were built like brick houses.
Then, like a lot of women, there was a lull in my baseball career. In between attending McMaster University, getting married and having children, I stopped playing.
Now I’m back and I work even harder and faster on the field as an adult and mother of three boys than I did in my youth. I play for Buchanan Park Ladies softball.
On a daily basis, I can be seen making three meals a day, sweeping soggy Mini Wheats off my kitchen floor, wiping down all surfaces that have stickier fingerprints on them than a pet shop window. There is applesauce on my walls and dinky cars as far as the eye can see.
I love my life every day, but Tuesday evenings are for me. Baseball is my game.
Some say I like it for the break and the immediate feedback for a job well done. There is no round of applause for mac and cheese made well, of course, but for a line drive past the shortstop there is!
It’s also the culture I appreciate: the sportsmanship, tying up your cleat laces, calling plays and taking chances. It’s sun on your face and grit in your hair.
It’s coaches telling players smoking on the bench to “Butt out! You’re a ball player!” It’s about mentorship, not psyching yourself out, rising above and being able to swallow a healthy dose of criticism like an actual adult.
It’s also pretty awesome to be called “kid” at the age of 33.
Sometimes I look out from where I’m playing to where my four-year-old son is twirling licorice while he squats in the grass looking for ants. I sure hope I have the opportunity to coach my children one day, like my dad did. I just love this game.
Sabrina Jaspers is a Mountain resident, blogger and social worker.
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