Dumb Story #4: Ball Carrier
My freshman year of high school something great happened: I made the freshman baseball team! This was a big moment for me as I loved baseball, our high school is huge and extremely talented, and I was like 5 foot 5 110 pounds, so it wasn’t like I was this force coming into the tryouts where everyone was like ‘look out for that guy.’
I had not played a lot of travel ball with the other people that made the team so going into the freshman practices and season, I always felt low on the totem pole. I felt anxious and nervous about my skills. I felt shy, and I wanted to make a good impression on the other guys and especially the coaches. One thing that I did well was that I worked hard. I knew that the coaches would see my hard work, and that’s how I would be noticed among the 40ish people that had made the team.
I was incorrect.
The practice season started in the winter, so we were practicing inside for awhile. For these practices we needed shorts, a school T-shirt, our glove and other baseball related gear. This was easy to keep track of because you would just leave your baseball gear at school, and have shorts and t shirts ready. Once we moved outside, we were required to wear baseball pants. This was a little more challenging, because I only had a couple of pairs of baseball pants and naturally they would get dirty, so I would have to bring them home after practice then remember to bring them to school the next day.
If you know me at all, you know that I can be a little forgetful. Well, it just so happens one day I forgot to bring my baseball pants to school. I tried to call home to see if someone could drop my pants off at school, but it didn’t work out. So what that meant, on this chilly, drizzling day, I would have to wear the pants to practice that I wore to school.
My cargo pants.
*Are cargo pants even a thing anymore?*
The anticipation leading up to practice made me sweat. It was going to be so embarrassing. We had 2 freshman teams, and it was still early enough that both teams were practicing together. That meant that the entire freshman team and coaching staff would see my beautiful and practical (a very reasonable thing to wear to school) cargo pants. I didn’t think anything could be worse – I was wrong.
As the clock ticked away and practice became closer, I started to convince myself that maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. There was no way I was the first person to forget their pants for practice. It was inevitable. Fourteen/fifteen year old kids needed to remember to bring their baseball pants to school every day? No way. So I was feeling a little better as the bell rang, school finally ended, and I headed out to our practice field.
There I am, surrounded by kids in baseball gear, wearing cargo pants jogging out to meet the coaches for practice. They’ll understand, it’ll be easy to explain, I have nothing to worry about, I think to myself. As I get closer, my cargo pants stand out like a hanging curveball. No one says anything at first as the coaches go through the practice schedule for the day. Finally, one of the coaches asks me if I forgot my pants (which was obvious). I said yes, apologized, and that was that. Not so bad! See, I knew the coaches would understand. Probably happens all the time. They dismiss us to go to our positions to start fielding practice, and I hear this thick Chicago accent (I’m talking real thick, like superfans from SNL thick) call out to me: Hey, Cargo Pants. hold this for me. The head coach of the A team throws me ten baseballs. He makes me stuff them in my pockets, and for the rest of practice I am his ball holder. I had to practice with my pockets full of baseballs, and whenever he ran out of baseballs, he would yell Cargo Pants. I had to throw him one from my pockets and go retrieve another to stuff in there.
I guess I got the coach’s attention.