Before I start my blog about the Charm City Electric I need to tell you how excited I am to be a part of the IWalk demo tomorrow at Maryland Orthotics and Prosthetics. I have been part of this study from the very beginning with the people from IWalk and the technology with prosthetics is becoming pretty incredible. The Powerfoot allows amputees to walk with the same gait but using 10% less energy because of the battery operated foot. It’s pretty incredible to think of all the advancements that I have seen since I first lost my leg back in 1989.
Now let’s talk about last night’s effort by Charm City Electric. We came into last night’s game on a five game winning streak. That winning streak ended in game one when we lost by a score of 9-3. Our whole team struggled to score runs. I compounded the problem by getting a runner thrown out at the plate when we were trailing 5-0. Bad play on my part and the next batter singled to make things even worse. I truly believe that hitting is contagious on every level of baseball/softball. When the guy in front of you or behind you hits it makes it easier for you to hit when they don’t it makes hitting that much harder. We struggled to build that momentum in game one and were retired in order in three of seven innings.
In contrast we got off to a fast start in game two and after getting just seven hits in the entire game in game one we scored seven runs in the first inning in game two. I contributed with a two-run double in that seven-run first inning. It’s so much easier pitching with a lead. We had an 8-4 lead in the fifth when a play happened that made me realize I have really ratcheted my game up a notch. I know that I am tough on myself when I play but there has definitely been a part of me that has just been happy with the fact that I am actually playing and participating in softball even though I am an amputee. That all changed tonight in the fifth inning. There was a swinging bunt up the first base line and I went to field it and made an errant throw to first that cost my team three runs. I was so furious with myself that it actually affected my next two at bats.
My mistake allowed the opposition to cut our lead to 8-7. After the inning I was inconsolable and walked about 100 feet to just blow off some steam. This is the point where I would have gone to a teammate that had made a mistake in the past and told them to shake it off and just worry about the next play. Luckily I have great teammates and my friend Chuck Perdue did that for me and got my head back in the game. At that point I told our coach I would allow no more runs and I went out and shut out the opposition in the sixth and seventh innings and we held on for the 12-7 victory. I’m still not sure how I feel about my emotions getting the best of me tonight. Ultimately though I think it was a good thing.
I know I am a lot older than the guys I’m playing with, and then there’s the whole thing about being an amputee, but I still want to be accepted by everyone without people worrying about whether they hit the ball back thru the box because I am an amputee or if I’m ok when I take a tumble. I guess I just want to be judged just like everyone else. I think tonight I took a big step towards that, at least from my perspective anyway. Remember if I can do it you can do it too.
Until next time…