I loved playing baseball as a young boy and teenager. Roberto Clemente was my hero. For many long summers, I ranged center field, running down flies and pegging the ball, batting somewhere in the first three or four positions in the order. Sometimes I was shifted to third or first base but center field was my choice and my love. Out there in the green, you stand alone.
I moved to WV in tenth grade. I had no neighborhood friends and our high school didn't have a team. I switched to track, football and wrestling. Graduating, I entered the military and took up softball but my shift work prevented me from attending many practices and games. I drifted away from the game.
I still have my gloves and my softballs and hardballs. Now I've been asked, want to give them up?
But I will. This fifty-six year old man hasn't picked up his glove and thrown a ball in a decade. They will find a new home in Cuba, courtesy of Cuba Caravan and Pastors for Peace, a friendship and charity effort we've supported for the last ten years.
It wasn't an easy decision, being all about emotions, growing up, aging and being pragmatic. I learned a great deal playing sports games, especially baseball and softball, honing my hand-eye coordination, running and leaping. I have a catalog of amazing catches. Once during a squadron game, I made a running, leaping catch in right center field. The right fielder swears I cleared his head. My wife, watching in the stands told me that people sitting around her said, "Wow, who is that?" She told me people couldn't believe how fast I ran and how high I jumped. It was terrible for my ego. Still is.
The ball equipment gave me much joy for over thirty-five years. I maintained them and they're in great shape. I don't think of it as giving them up.
I'm sharing some fun and dreams.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com