The crowd watching the game next to mine gets excited as the ball soars over the center-field fence. I am used to seeing that. I have almost become desensitized. My brother drops the bat and takes off around the bases. His mullet is flowing out from underneath his hat as he continues his “I just crushed that ball over the fence” trot around the bases.
I join the applause and go back to watching my game.
“That kid with the mullet is your brother?”
“Yeah, he is, why?” I replied with a smile.
“That guy can smash the ball. He is crazy good.”
I reply with some sarcastic comment and grin. My brother is the bomb, and I know it. This past summer, he hit over 60 home runs.
My other brother keeps a lower profile. He is kind of behind-the-scenes. He can hit a money ball down the right-field line. He is a good pitcher, which can be hard to find.
When you get the two of them together, it’s sure to be a competitive game. If you add me into the mix, watch out.
My family is a softball-playing family. Mom and Dad both play. Mom is a great catcher, and she can tomahawk any high ball for a solid base hit. Dad, well, he’s a good third-base coach. He tore his Achilles tendon a few summers ago, and we haven’t let him play much since. We have a family team that people fear (if they don’t, they should; I’m just saying). There are some pros and cons to having my family all play softball together.
Con No. 1: I can’t curse.
When I hit a high fly ball or a rinky-dinky grounder, I am never usually happy about it. My instinctive response is to swear. The S-word is usually my word of choice, but if my mom is playing and she hears me swear, I get yelled at. So I have to revert to indiscernible grunts and groans; maybe a kick to the dirt is often the response, but it isn’t an adequate expression of my feelings.
Con No. 2: No yelling at the umpires.
My brothers and dad are short-tempered. No umpire is perfect. In fact, most of them are pretty awful. My brother and dad can say things they are sure to regret and can penalize the team. There are some times where remaining calm in the situation is necessary, but there are other times when you would feel much better if you could just yell at the umps. If you are with your family, they are bound to step in and quiet you before you can get things off your chest.
Con No. 3: Mistakes are not disregarded.
If I make an error, let a ground ball go through, throw it to the wrong person, or have a horrible at-bat, the error is pointed out to me — not once, not twice, but at least three times. If that happens, I just get more frustrated and am bound to make another mistake. It’s harder to let it go if it’s someone you care about getting upset.
Pro No. 1: Family unity.
It’s brought us closer together, and it’s something we’ve bonded over. We have a good time together and enjoy each other’s company.
Pro No. 2: We trust each other.
You are supposed to trust your teammate more than you trust yourself. There is no one you trust more than your family. Having a family member as a teammate is an ultimate trust that creates a stronger team, an almost unbreakable team.
Pro No. 3: No yelling at the refs.
Although it’s a con because you can’t get things off your chest, it’s a pro because it can save you from getting ejected or other trouble.
Playing with my family is a lot of fun. I have come to love and adore them more. I recommend it.