A conversation today reminded me of this post from my old blog, so I decided to clean it up a bit and repost it here:
I’ve always loved baseball. I can’t quite explain why, and it seems a little odd that I would like it at all given that my interest has received such little encouragement. My parents themselves are lukewarm about the sport, although they did sign me up for softball when I was 8. Not a naturally gifted athlete, I had to compensate with enthusiasm and a solid work ethic, which met with only limited success seeing as I was not quite popular enough to avoid benchwarming, as certain coaches only played their daughters and their daughters’ friends, of whom I was rarely one.
But I stuck with the sport because I really really really wanted to play. However, what I really wanted was to play was baseball, like the Yankee players I idolized did. For years I harbored the standard childhood fantasy of growing up to be a major league ballplayer. As it is for most people, limited athleticism proved to be an obstacle to making this dream a reality. But it was not the only obstacle.
The most significant obstacle to improving my baseball skills was that I didn’t get to play baseball. I only got to play softball. Now, I like softball. It does contain many of the same elements that baseball has: hitting a ball with a stick, throwing, catching, etc. But it contains several differences, including the tempo of the game, the size of the ball, the throwing style, et al. It’s a fun game of its own, yes, but it’s not baseball. However, because I was a girl, that’s all I got to play.