Hello, kickball followers. I have some exciting news to report from world-famous Momma Johnson Park. Our incongruous streak of ties has been broken. Even better, we broke it with a win!
We got off to an outstanding start, driving in 4 runs in the first inning. Kudos to George and Jill for crafting that batting order. There was some smart bunting, some clever base running, and Jeff even had another of his patented mile-long triples. Our defense was pretty solid, too. Our opponents, the Brown Team, our flip cup partners from last week, rarely booted anything into the outfield. Our infield was practically a brick wall, falling into step behind Brandon’s strong and steady pitching. I don’t think I’ve ever been a part of so many 1-2-3 innings in all my years of kickball.
That isn’t to say that we were completely flawless. No, us being us, there were many bad decisions made. What could have been an 8 – 3 victory wound up being a much closer 8 -5 finish because, well, we’re us. In the runner-up spot for this week’s Not En Fuego Award is Kish, who acted as third base coach during our second rally. He coached Jeff right into a double play, having somehow come to assume that there were two outs when there was only one. All of our fevered shouting and arm-waving (and by “our” I mean “my”) failed to turn Jeff back. Kish is only saved from official embarrassment by Brandon, who erased any good will he earned on the mound in sudden and spectacular fashion.
Brandon was pitching and Jeff was playing third. A failed bunt attempt from a Brown batter resulted in a shallow, sky-high pop-up. Claiming possession in a voice even louder than Brandon’s notorious bellow, Jeff came trotting down field. Despite almost everyone else in Hudson County being aware of who was handling the play, Brandon refused to cede any ground. As such, the two of them collided, Brandon crumbled to the ground, and no one made the out.
Despite this, and giving up two runs in the bottom of the seventh and final inning, we held on to achieve our first victory of the season. There was a minor drawback, though. See, while the Brown Team was happy to compete in the bar, they didn’t seem as happy to compete on the field. I’m not sure what exactly happened, but there was a play in the fifth or sixth inning which the Browns argued quite passionately against. The ump would not reverse his decision, and they remained in a foul mood for the rest of the game. Shaking hands afterward was a solemn affair. I don’t think they even came to the bar for drinks. So, we learned a little something this week: you can gain a win, but you might lose a friend.
Oh, who am I kidding? They were as bland and as dull as the shirts they wore.
Stay tuned for next week’s update. We’ll be playing under the lights for our 10:00 start, which means maximum pre-game shenanigans.
MVP of the Week: I’m giving this to Rosa, who made some smart decisions in the baselines, and pulled off the most graceful catch in the outfield I’ve seen in ages.
Weekly Not En Fuego Award: Brandon, again, for everything you read above. He also almost popped another kickball…again!
Quote of the Game: “I love scoring! … In kickball!” ~ Rosa