Mandatory Fun: Game 3
Heading out to play our third company kickball game, Nisha took this photo of everyone’s busted up shoes (due, in large part, to the desert-like conditions of Skinner Park).
When we arrived, we found a group of people already on the field, playing softball. We were about ten minutes early, with no sign of the other team or the kickball ref.
I noticed one of the batters, and it looked to me like Howard. Lo and behold – it was him!
We chatted for a while, and I found out he’s on a softball team with his friends. They normally have games in another park, but their games got cancelled this week due to the Pitchfork Music Festival – so they headed over here to practice.
Tim, taking inventory of the team and setting up the kicking roster. Huge thanks to Chris R, who had the foresight to bring along some beer and plastic cups.
Surprisingly, I didn’t take any photos during the game. I think I was a bit distracted, and ended up keeping my camera tucked away most of the time.
There were a few special, key moments though. In our first inning, Chris R was up and had a fantastic kick that sent the ball one direction and his shoe another. He still ran like a champ and made it to first base, safe and sound. Of all the times I wish I was videotaping, I really wish I would have gotten that one on film.
The other team (named We’ve Got the Runs) had a lot of really strong kickers. On more than one occasion, they booted the ball pretty deep, with a heavy bounce that sent the game ball over the park fence. One time, Chris R pulled himself atop the fence and hopped over it – rather than run all the way around to the park entrance.
But as impressive as that was (you can see the fence in the photo above), the instance I want to mention involves Nisha. After another powerful kick that sent the ball over the fence, Nisha was nearby. I think someone yelled out that it was her turn to climb the fence, and she started to do it.
Several other people then yelled for her not to… and someone else ran around to grab the ball. But I swear – there’s no doubt in my mind that Nisha would have started to scale that fence, if people hadn’t stopped her.
It was a low scoring game, but we held our own pretty well. Christine made a key catch for an out, early in the game. Both Chris R and Tim made some pretty big catches as well. Noami was catcher, and in covering home base made a key out preventing a runner from scoring.
Out of any game, I think this one was the most times I’ve seen an opponent “hit” with the ball as an out. A lot of action.
For my part, I was terrible at catching. Several dropped pop flies, and a missed opportunity where I was at first… and would have beat the runner, had I not dropped a ball thrown my way.
I will say though that I redeemed myself kicking. I did better than I think I’ve ever done at bat, and got several people in to score. Also had a fun time sliding into home plate, just as a ball was getting super close to a guy a few steps away.
For the rough progression of the game – we scored first, two runs. Then they scored a few more on us in a succession, making it something like 4-2 them. And by the end of the game, I believe we won it by 6-4.
Final inning, we had to hold them… and did a good job keeping them from scoring. It was touchy there near the end, but we did great.
After the game, several of us opted to stick around and hang out on the bleachers. We had some more beers to sink, and just took in the other game that started after ours ended. A nice, relaxing way to ease into dusk.
A bit later at the bar, we ordered some drinks and food. Nearby, Howard and his crew happened to be here as well. About 15 minutes after we sat down, the waitress came by with a round of shots – courtesy of Howard.
There… may or may not have been various feats of limberness and flexibility, as at least three individuals attempted to touch their feet to their foreheads, while standing.
A great game, and a good mixture of friends – old and new.