SPORTS ADDICT: Although I definitely wasn’t called to be a pitcher, I still love this game…

by dentonramsey

SPORTS ADDICT: Although I definitely wasn’t called to be a pitcher, I still love this game…



Although Ramsey didn’t turn in an all-star performance on the mound Thursday night, he still had a great time and will always love America’s pastime. Chris McGathey/Staff Photo

Thursday’s Texas heat continued to bake fans, players and coaches alike as sportswriter Kevin Hageland and I walked through the gates of Graham Field before stopping briefly to speak with Blue Sox General Manager Christi Baker.

Plano’s Texas Collegiate League team was about to play host to the Weatherford Wranglers and the game’s festivities were set to begin with a ceremonial first pitch at 7:30 p.m. to be thrown by yours truly, the town’s sports editor.

I looked down at my watch as I squinted through my sunglasses as sweat dripped down my forehead and into my eyes.

“It’s only 7:00 p.m., so I still have some time to warm up before I throw,” I thought to myself.

My conversation with nobody but myself was interrupted by the ‘Entourage’ theme song, “Superhero,” blaring through my cell phone speakers (yes, it’s my ringer tone).

My fiancé and brother would be attending the game, and I soon began thinking about the fact that it had been years since I had really thrown a baseball around.

Granted, I had always dreamed of being a pitcher when I was a kid and first started playing little league baseball with my dad head coaching the team.

But that was forever ago, and as much as I loved and looked up to players of the likes of Nolan Ryan and Roger Clemens, I myself was no ‘Rocket.’

With Kevin and photographer Chris McGathey already prepping me up with tales of my foreboding failure, I responded with jokes of marching to the mound and throwing pure heat, nothing short of a performance that Astros’ ace Roy Oswalt would be proud of.

However, my performance fell far short of any type of ‘Roy O’ kind of appearance, but that story is for a little bit later.

It was time to warm up, and warm up I did.

My ‘bullpen time’ went fairly well, as I slowly but surely found control of my fastball after a few flukes sent the ball slicing and hooking in all directions.

 
 

Granted, I had no control over my slider or curveball, but this was a night for the fastball… all heat.

So that’s what I practiced, over and over again, tossing the two-seam in anticipation of what was to come.

After three straight bullet strikes, I felt I was ready and signaled to my catcher that I was warm and ready.

The time was now 7:20 and the speakers were sputtering out the opposing team’s lineup as I wiped sweat from my brow with my right forearm before walking to the dugout and leaning against the wall as I waited for my call to the mound.

And as quickly as I had disappeared into my daydream, Christi looked over and made the signal that it was time…

After all the preparation and time spent in the pen, I felt for sure I was ready to do this… but as my feet brushed the brown dirt beneath my feet and as my right foot grazed the rubber, I looked up to see my catcher knelt down and ready for my pitch when the butterflies hit.

“One thing I forgot was mental preparation,” I said to myself as I looked down at the ground before straightening my back and looking back up with a smile at my catcher.

I gripped the ball firmly in my right hand and concentrated maybe a bit too much as the speakers, now sounding quite a bit louder, spoke the words, “Mr. Ramsey, fire away when ready…”

The moment had come, and here I was on the mound tossing the ball to home plate (or at least attempting to) and I hadn’t even gone through my full windup.

With the ball sailing quickly and abruptly low and to the right, I could only smile and think to myself, “I definitely wasn’t called to be a pitcher.”

After my brief mound moment, I walked off the field towards the Blue Sox dugout, shaking hands with my catcher and taking the ball from him before turning with the rest of the team, taking off my hat and covering my heart for the national anthem.

Though I can’t pitch, that’s not really why I was there that evening.

I was there to cover a game I fell in love with as a kid and the passion only simmered to an addiction the older I got.

Though I can’t pitch, that’s not what I decided to do with my life.

And on Thursday night, I was reminded of why it is that I cover these games I love so much rather than participate in them.

I learned early on that I wasn’t the most athletically talented kid on the block, but I did love sports with a passion and I did love to write.

So ‘sportswriter’ just fit all too perfectly, and I wouldn’t trade my job for anything in the world.

And just because I can’t do the things I write about and cover on a daily basis, I still love these things called sports and can’t live without them.

Without sports, where else would I release all my fits of anger and frustration BESIDES the healthy choice of cursing the TV or just cursing to the sky?

Heck, without sports I might never say another swear word again, but then again I can’t imagine a life without my cussing out officials or screaming at my boys when my teams are in action.

Life just wouldn’t be normal without sports… although I wouldn’t put any bets on my being drafted to play baseball anytime soon.

One thing I would bet on is Blue Sox pitcher Mark Doll being drafted soon… heck, even his mom can throw heat n and she throws it in the strike-zone too.

Don’t worry Blue Sox fans, Doll’s day will come as will many others from both Plano and the TCL as players in this summer league only prove they are willing and able to do whatever it takes to reach the pros.

Mark Lowe was the first to go from the TCL, but he certainly won’t be the last.

And I’ve still got lots of work to do if I ever plan to reach the big leagues, but until that time I’ll keep on doing what I love n covering local sports with pure passion and a smile.

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