I grew up on baseball. I love the sound of the crack of a bat, eating $15 nachos out of a plastic helmet and cheering my team to victory.
I believe pretty strongly that we follow the sports that our parents like – and the Towery household was definitely a baseball house. I’ve honestly never watched an entire football game from start to finish and I’m good with that.
My parents went to the University of Texas and they watch a little college ball but we were not one of those families that gathered ‘round to watch the Dallas Cowboys or the Houston Oilers every Saturday.
Naturally, softball was the sport I chose to play. Well, actually that was the sport for which I chose to sit on the bench and lead rhyming chants for my friends.
“Rally, rally on two, two, two, rally, rally on two. Hey!” and “L-U-C-K-Y, that’s how that girl caught that fly. She’s lucky; hey, hey, she’s lucky!” There was also, “H-O, H-O-M, H-O-M-E-R-U-N. Home run [clap clap, insert name of homerun queen].”
A lot of the chants involved spelling which I was pretty good at. I was not, however, good at catching fly balls or making contact with the softball. I didn’t have a strong arm and I swear I heard Coach Stillwell yell at me a thousand times, “If it hit your glove, you should have caught it.”
I never caught it.
But I will say those hours chanting in the dugout were some of the best times of my life.
You spend so much time with those teammates – on the bus driving to out-of-town games, at weekend tournaments and hitting from a pitching machine at Bee Creek Park. I loved the game so, so much but alas, the Lord did not bless me with athletic talent.
I do not, however, regret that I joined the team. Coach Stillwell sat me down after my freshman year and said, “You will never be on Varsity.” He then suggested that I call in the box scores to the local newspaper after each game and be, sort of, the team statistician. Oh and then we were off to the races.
I felt like some sort of investigative journalist, when I was literally speaking over a landline phone to some bored sports guy at The Eagle newspaper – where I would eventually work for many years – saying things like, “Zero runs, zero hits, zero errors in the first inning … zero runs, zero hits, zero errors in the second inning.”
It was awesome.
And even though I didn’t get a byline and probably not a whole lot of people paid attention to the A&M Consolidated Lady Tiger box scores, I knew I had done something that I could be proud of.
I get that sensation when baseball season starts every year. I get pumped up about the Houston Astros and the Sealy Tigers and feel a little awesome about that time I got to be part of a team.
April Towery is the managing editor of The Sealy News. She can be reached at 979-885-3562 or via email at email@example.com.