Back in the spring of 2009, I played softball for the first time since I was about 10 years old. My friend Cathy, whom I’d met playing flag football that previous fall, called me up and asked if I wanted to play in a tournament the next day out in Oak Cliff. I shrugged and said why not? I grabbed a glove that night (what ended up being a kid’s glove from Walmart…. oh how little did I know!) and headed out. I didn’t hit well AT ALL that day, but I fielded pretty well considering I hadn’t played in so long. And it ignited a love for the sport.
4 years, and 10 tournaments later, my team took that tournament by storm and went 6-0, winning the city tournament outright!
Summer of 2009, my friend Lindsey and I put together our first softball team. We were called Diablos that season and it was when I met several of my very close friends today (Matt, Greg, Jason, Grygar, Angel, Brian, Lexi). After that initial season, the league moved softball from Monday to Thursday nights. While they were on Thursdays, I was only a sub and the team name became Pitches & Throws. When they moved back to Monday nights in the Big D league and I took the team back over, we’ve been playing on Mondays ever since. After taking the Monday league of DSMA by storm over the past 3 years, we got our first crack at the all-city tournament. After 2 years of playing in that tournament with the Lickity Splitz and never making it past the 3/4pm game, I was really familiar with how the tournament could go. The resiliency of this Gruesome team was something to be seen; we have a chemistry that’s hard to be beat. We’ve come from behind to win more close games than any other team I’ve played on, and we have the mental toughness to not freak out about it. I’ve been on plenty of team that mentally gets out of games when things start to go south.
With 5 of my usual Gruesome players out of town or unavailable that weekend, I combined with my TCU Purple Reign team. It ended up being 7/7 mix between Gruesome and Purple Reign. With 14 people we had fresh legs and we had a great mix of big bats and base hitters. It was the most solid outfield I’ve ever played with and we. just. dominated. The first half of the first game was really the only close one we played. We hit, we fielded, and this wasn’t an easy tournament. There were good teams out there. Nutz & Honeyz (though we didn’t play them) was there also. We almost played them for the finals, but they lost in the 3rd place game.
The two guys who co-run the TCU team (Tom and Anthony), who I played with at that first tournament back in 2009, have taken 3rd place twice but that’s as close as they’d got. Going into that last game the 3 of us pow-wow-ed and after all these years all we wanted to do was win this thing. And sure enough, we did! 5 years in the making…countless hours and bottles of sunscreen and close games.. and WE DID IT. We’ve been walking on cloud-9 for the past month and it’s been difficult to get back amped up to be competitive again, but it’s been a heck of a ride.