A Lesson Well Learned

November 4, 2008
By
The reason for a highly protective catchers helmet became rather obvious to me when I was first starting my career as a softball player at the ripe age of ten. The need for a hard plastic cage to protect your face and a solid top to protect your cranium never crossed my mind until it was too late and will always reside in the back of my mind. I was at a softball tournament in the hot month of August and figured the need for a protective shield wouldn‘t be necessary for warm-ups. I have never been so completely wrong.

I was sitting on my heels, crouching in the newly cut green grass warming up my team’s starting pitcher, Amanda. My hair pulled back in a tight ponytail, black cleats digging in the grass, my newly washed purple and yellow uniform gleaming in the sun and my dusty, brown glove that smelled like leather held out in front of me. Amanda, who threw on average forty-five miles per hour, was forty feet from my muddy cleats and looking at my fingers for the next sign. I signaled the peace sign, a fastball, right up the middle no tricks or spin. The result was a curveball that made a sharp left turn toward my unsuspecting eye.

My vague remembrance of the next several moments include a fastball turned curveball. The bright yellow, newly manufactured, ball with its seams spinning uncomfortably close to my left eye, was the last thing in my line of sight until my vision was distorted and blackness came over me. The initial pressure I felt before losing consciousness wasn’t painful, but was definitely not comfortable. The unharmed ball bounced off my face and fell to my left as I fell backwards into the soft grass. I awoke several minutes later in a big white tent with a large red cross printed on the top of it. I don’t remember being carried to the tent or the horrifying scream of my teammates, just waking up on a hard metal chair. I knew what had happened right away, just didn’t quite believe it. My coach and several other concerned looking people were standing over me and discussing the enormity of the throbbing mass that was once my left eye. I couldn’t see it but it seemed to weigh one-hundred pounds, and every time I moved it seemed to jiggle in place and throb. One of the concerned women in the tent had a red round mirror that revealed what I already felt, a huge welt. The tennis ball-sized mass on my face was completely engulfing my eye and eyelashes so no evidence could be seen. The array of blues, greens, purples and blacks looked fake, like shiny plastic, and all I could do was gasp. The lack of pain made everything seem surreal, like I was having a bad dream.


After several minutes of observing my mutilated face an over-the-top cold icepack was pressed against my bulging left eye, which woke me up from whatever thought I was having. After several minutes of turning my face numb from the ice-cube filled baggie my, coach decided to give me a very tiring lecture about the importance of why we should always wear catchers helmets while warming up our pitchers. The team was later given the same lecture. Trust me, it was a lesson well learned.





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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

lucky2040 said...
Nov. 11, 2008 at 3:16 pm
this is alright.
 
Sftballplayr08 said...
Nov. 9, 2008 at 8:47 pm
Hey girly! I know you!!!! lol and I understand how this feels sorta! that's awesome you got this published tho! congrats!! love ya! Sam =)
 
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