Let the games begin

So I played my first softball game of the summer tonight. Let the summer officially begin.

The weather was perfect. Sunny with temperatures in the 60s. Our wives gabbed while our kids played around the bleachers. And us guys played ball.

I love how a team of guys, working in a myriad of professions within a 45-mile radius, can gel and play together for an eight-week season, go their separate ways for the next 9.5 months and then come together as team again, picking up right where they left off.

After all, we're the defending league champions.

So tonight, my position assignment was shortstop. Last year, you may recall, I was regularly stationed at third base, but our regular shortstop from last year opted out of playing this year, leaving the spot open for me.

It took a few innings for me to knock off the offseason rust. I notched an out by catching a fly ball in shallow left field, but I botched the first three ground balls hit my way. The last one I took square off my knee cap. ... Yep, that's going to make things interesting when I try to get out of bed tomorrow morning.

But, I walked it off as the pitcher stalled for a few minutes, and I stayed in the game.

I then fielded cleanly the next three ground balls to be hit my way, throwing to first and getting the putouts on all three.

At the plate, I had a 2-for-3 night with two singles. We won the game 10-9, though the game never felt that close from our team's standpoint. We play good defense, we're patient at the plate and we're cool under pressure.

Ah, yes. The summer has begun.

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