This spring marks the tenth year (not tenth season – tenth year) of me playing recreational kickball with the Pittsburgh Sports League. I moved to Pittsburgh in the fall of 2002. When the winter 2003 season started I started playing hockey, and when the spring season started I started playing kickball. I’ve had to take some time off from hockey due to injuries, pregnancy, that sort of thing, but I’ve never really taken any significant time from playing kickball. (I think there was one season we didn’t get a team in. Maybe two. Also Marshall made me stop playing once I was about five months pregnant.) The team I’ve been on has gone through all kinds of changes, but we’ve had more or less the same core group of people since 2007 or so. We’ve even won a few championships.
At some point that I can’t remember Uncle Don started coming to our games fairly regularly. The field we were normally at was not too far from his house and he was usually looking for something to do and a chance to catch up with me. Eventually he became sort of the team mascot and would even go to games if I wasn’t there. He kept score and kept track of the lineup, so he had a job to do in addition to being the #1 team fan. We are going to miss him this year. I have his stadium cushions and clappers at the ready for our memorial place on the bench for him.
A couple of weeks ago I learned our captain of several years (Marshall) was not able to play due to child care/scheduling conflicts. Disaster! Fortunately Chad stepped up and offered to captain. Unfortunately Chad didn’t register our team in time so we thought we’d have to sit the season out. Fortunately a new field opened up so we are able to play after all. It’s been a roller coaster of emotion!
Anyway, I’m glad to be continuing my kickball tradition, although it’s going to be weird without Uncle Don and without Marshall (specifically I think we’ll all miss it when Marshall yelled “I GOT IT” and Uncle Don yelled “I HOPE SO”). We start April 1.