The Rookie

Just because you think you ARE – doesn’t mean you are. Why is it that some folks, always have egos as big as the all outdoors, and a certainty about them; that begs a shake down? You know who I’m talking about – the official “dog trainer”, who has never even owned a dog, let alone a big dog; the over confident doctor who thinks mono-nucleosis is a reaction to a spider bite and the plumber who is sure your well is dry when actually the outside tap has been left on…..

Playing baseball has always been my favourite sport………

“The Rookie”

Samantha stood on her base and watched as the overly confident new player, Sebastian, loudly explained his ability as an “A level” baseball player in his hometown of Jersey, New Orleans. He walked with a sense of confidence that Samantha always found infuriating, especially knowing that this was actually serious baseball and naive over-confidence could get you hurt. How many times had Samantha and her team mates, had to endure the ego of a man with a false sense of skill?

Sebastian sidled towards third, and then gave himself away with his awkward unprepared stance on third base.

Third base can be a very difficult base to play for several reasons, including the speed of the ball, hit by most right handed batters. While the batter is poised and ready for the pitch the third base player must remain focussed and ready to jump quickly towards either the ball or the base depending upon where it has been hit. The short stop often retrieves the ball and third base must be ready if there is a runner on second base. All of these things must be contemplated in your head. When the batter swings and misses, the runner on second will often launch themselves full speed ahead to get safe on third base. The catcher often attempts to launch the ball at third base to get the runner out, however if the catcher has no time to react; she will most likely return the ball to the pitcher. The third base player also plays the line, but is spring loaded to react to a change in the hit…….

Sebastian stood awkwardly near third base and clearly had none of the above in his head. He was too busy distracted by the fans on the bleachers and totally unprepared when the pitcher wound up carefully and executed a perfect pitch towards the batter. In an inkling, the ball was hit fiercely, the runner headed to first, and the ball hit Sebastian squarely in the chest on third base at lightning speed. In the moment of shock, the third base runner was safe at home and Sebastian lie in a heap of indignation and embarrassment. The ball had hit him very hard in the chest. His arrogance had almost cost him a serious injury not to mention the bruised ego.

“Lucky it didn’t hit you in the head”, was the only thing Samantha could think.

The season played out like that all summer, with Sebastian insisting on his expert playing, but realizing pretty quickly that the field was a better place for him. Samantha continued to play first base with a sense of determination and focus that she had never felt before. Standing on the bench, her coach would maintain eye contact for a moment when she swang the bat; and her hitting had slowly improved. He also coached her to play lightly on her feet and keep her mind focussed on every play.

Photo by Steshka Willems on

The ego and the false sense of skill slowly evaporated and Sebastian never did come back for a second season. He never stopped talking a good game but, he never played one either………..


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