Creator: Dave Gilmore lives in Baltimore, works for a sports-oriented non-profit, and writes “The Win Column” for BaltimoreSportsReport.com
Purpose: Principles to keep summer softball “fun for everyone”.
The Summer Softball Manifesto (edited)
“I’m just lobbing it in.”?*
You have to remember, once the dust settles, an out-of-shape dude is going to take a step and lob a big neon-colored ball in at roughly 13 mph. It’s silly to get worked up about anything that involves throwing something underhand. It’s not worth sliding. It’s not worth name-calling, cheating, accusing people of cheating, or injuring your has-been self. It’s slow-pitch softball. If it were more serious, they’d call it something else.
*Borrowed from a Seinfeld episode.
Beer, Sweat and Tears?…
Basically, even though I’m usually too dehydrated to have a beer until after the game, I’m pro-beer and softball. I know, such a controversial stance.
Carry a Big Stick?…
You can level the playing field if your team pulls together an extra $250 and gets a decent bat every season. For reasons scientific and unfathomable, softball bats seem to lose their “pop” after a season or so. Certain bats also just make the ball fly like that dusty thing you’re swinging simply cannot. Just the confidence of having such an instrument in the hands of your average hitter is worth the purchase.
Girls, Girls, Girls
Why would you enter a team in a co-ed softball league if you didn’t plan on using any of your female players? So, here is my message to female softball players and the team managers who perpetually stick them at the bottom of the order playing catcher, second base, and right field: you’re not helping. If you haven’t played a lot of ball in your life, the only way to get better is to get up there and take your cuts. Take a few ground balls off the shins, be aggressive on a 2-strike count, and try and stretch a double into a triple. It’s completely arcane to believe that women are incapable of competing evenly in a softball league where the prize for first place is usually a big bag of nothing and at most a plastic trophy.
…There is something intrinsically wonderful about taking to a patch of dirt and playing a full-fledged game of softball. …There’s a level of orchestration there that only adults are capable of. Its antiquity– no scoreboards, old-timey terminology, funny socks, is part of its charm. The fact that nearly every company with more than 10 people can and usually does field a team at some point, is unique solely to this country…