I had planned to have Part 2 up today, but I didn’t get it finished because I sustained a neck injury at a spring training game. Some friends had extra tickets to the Cardinals-Braves game yesterday, and Blogless Jr. and I met them early to watch batting practice. Behind the left field fence there’s a grassy embankment where people can sit during the game. During batting practice though, you can stand in this area and all the kids get to chase after homeruns and keep the balls. The embankment has a pretty steep incline, not quite forty-five degrees, but it’s close, and it was still a little wet and slippery.
We had been standing out there about twenty minutes when one of the last batters, I don’t remember who it was, hit a shot right at us. I took one step forward, mostly reaction, but then I saw a kid about eight to ten feet in front of me who looked like he was going to catch it. He had his glove ready and the ball was coming right at him, but he missed. The ball flew right past his glove and it landed about three feet in front of me. It bounced a little to the right and I bent down and reached out my hand to grab it.
That’s the last thing I remember for several seconds.
Next thing I know, someone had either pushed me or taken me out from behind and I was on the ground at the bottom of a dogpile. To give you an idea of just how many reckless unsupervised children we’re talking about, I’m 6’3” and Blogless Jr. later said he couldn’t see me at all under there. And let me just state for the record, I had no intention of aggressively pursuing a baseball. I have plenty of baseballs. Blogless Jr. has plenty of baseballs. We didn’t need any more. But once I got laid out, there was no way in hell I was coming up empty handed. So I found the ball, still unclaimed, grabbed it, and tried to stand up. I made it about halfway to my feet before I realized there were still a couple of kids hanging on to my back, like some evil giant fighting off an attack by brave townsfolk. Anyway, one of the little fuckers must’ve stepped on my neck, because about the third inning it started getting stiff, and it got progressively worse the rest of the day.
I’m sure I looked like the asshole, robbing sweet innocent children of their chance at a souvenir. Maybe I was, I dunno. But I can tell you my neck would be hurting a lot worse today if I didn’t get that damned ball.
More Madness tomorrow.