Bobble: (n) a mishandling of the ball

Dictionary B

It’s the closest I ever came–at least in baseball.

I hated baseball, and it seemed that baseball returned in kind by disliking me. The harder I tried to hit the ball, the more I grounded out because my chubby legs couldn’t get me to first base.

What’s worse, everybody thought that because I was so big, I should be able to knock every pitch out of the park–thus making my dribbling even more dismaying.

But on this particular day, all the bases aligned in my favor.

First, I got to pitch, which was bizarre–a fellow my size usually ended up either catching or playing left field.

We were about to win the game. We were ahead by one run and there was one batter left. I had already struck out the previous two.

I felt a sudden burst of confidence.

It was such an unusual experience for me on the diamond that my head was woozy with euphoria.

I reared back, I threw the pitch. It was high, but the batter opted to hit it–the ball going straight up in the air in front of home plate.

I eased my way forward, knowing that all I had to do was catch it and we would win. All the stigma on my lack of ability would be swept away by cheering teammates, adoring my performance.

It seemed like the ball hung in the air for an hour–so long that I had time to think. Or dare I say, doubt?

Maybe better explained, freak out.

When it came down, rather than landing in my hands, I tried to catch it with my chest and trap it.

I bobbled it.

It bounced off and dribbled ten feet to my right.

The runner scored, and then, because the first baseman bobbled a throw from the third baseman, another run scored and we lost the game.

No one said anything to me–which was the worst punishment possible.

I guess they assumed that since I wasn’t very good at baseball, bobbling was inevitable.

It isn’t.

All bobbling is caused by over-thinking the catch.

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