I couldn't have asked for a better day.
Up early on a nice sunny day, I took my time getting dressed, read a little more of Bushwhacked, then headed over to Scripps Ranch to see Eric play basketball. They hung onto a 1-point lead (despite a homer ref) and won.
Next, down to Hoover for my baseball game. We played a good team, and we never trailed, but that could have changed at several points. I went 2-for-4, both hits coming at key points in the game. No RBIs, but the first came with two outs, we had the lead, but an out would've killed the rally, and left us with a smaller lead. The second came with the lead whittled down to 4 runs, leading off the top of the 9th; I later scored, helping to keep the game out of reach. The bottom of the 9th was done in four batters.
In between, I made one hell of a catch in right field that otherwise would've been a momentum-adding double. Their leadoff hitter, a lefty, hit a high, high pop fly bound for the fence. Hoover has a 20-25 foot tall fence to protect the houses across the street, and it looked like it would either fall just in front of it, or rebound off the top quarter. I executed near-perfectly, making the right drop-step, judging the flight, picking up the fence, and making the catch. Anything near the fence is easy to misplay--and I nearly did. I should've trusted my sense of touch to find the fence, but instead I turned to look, and briefly lost sight of the ball.
I learned today it's a significantly different feeling to have an investment in a game. It's one thing to show up, go 0-for at bat, striking out a couple of times and weakly grounding out the rest, to pick up some routine base hit ground balls, and maybe to flub a play or two (or not.) It's completely different to have contributed. Even if it's not the big hit or the huge third out.
The second hit was a lot of things coming together. Most importantly, no distractions. I was completely relaxed, in a good stance, my weight back, I was balanced, I was ready. No pressure, no nerves. Just wait, judge, and optionally swing. Often in the past, there's been a thousand things going through my head, I've worried about every detail, every possibility, dread at getting out in some trivial, undignified way. None of that. I was ready to just deal with whatever came, whenever, and knew that I could handle it. That quote of Sinclair's comes to mind, from "War Without End", "Now I'm like the arrow that springs from the bow. No hesitations. No doubts. The path is clear."
(In case I wasn't clear, yes, we won. 12-7.)
On the drive home, I meant to call Mary Jo, but to my chagrin, discovered I never stored her number in my phone's speed dial list. What a dipshit I am.
The junior team had a game scheduled today that was canceled on short notice. The other coach claims he told us they were in a tournament this weekend, but Nate thinks he would remember such a remark. Instead, we called in who we could and scrimmaged the kids against a few of us senior players, one brother, and some of the dads.
The kids played very well, we left them on their own. Nate nominally left Jake in charge, but they ran things by committee anyways, and had no trouble at all. The dads came through better than I expected (talent aside, they've had no live game work in ages.) Brett's brother Ian, a junior at Poway, drilled a shot into an empty section of dog park. We had fallen behind by then, but we got the lead back later that inning, lost it again (on some fielding errors,) but got it back yet again in the last inning. I had a couple of hits, struck out once, and got out in a couple of dumb baserunning incidents. (I misread Nate running ahead of me in a rundown between second and third, took second, and met him there. Then I tried to take third on a passed ball, which Cody retrieved faster than I thought he would.) It was Too Much Fun. Even if I didn't get to hit off Eric. :-)
I got home, got showered, and was reminded that either God has the sick sense of humor Depeche Mode accuses him of, or he's trying to keep me from getting a big head about things. The power supply in b5 had died around 5:45. As my server, that box needed to be fixed now. Fortunately, the Windows box is a hardware twin. But I still sense an early trip to Fry's tomorrow morning.
After today, I could die tomorrow a happy man. Really.