Jonathan Richie BW.tif

It’s that time of year again when we watch kids play baseball on national television. That’s right people it’s the Little League World Series. Teams from all over the country and world (although almost all the kids on the Germany team live on American airbases) battle for fame and strive to be the best without crumbling under the pressure of international attention.

As I stated awhile back I was once a first-class athlete, received my varsity letter following my freshman year on the wrestling team. I was pretty good at all three of my sports. Football season turned into wrestling season which usually wrapped up about a month before baseball started. But then I discovered my love of music along with other extra curriculars and began leaving all the sports I played.

Baseball was the last sport that I became a quitter. It was either quit the game or become a murderer.

Our team was awful, we would reach the slaughter rule (15 run deficit) in the first inning but would have to play another two innings. One time the other team’s coach felt so bad for us after they scored almost 30 runs in two innings that he forced a baserunner to take his helmet off while standing on third base just so he would be called out and all of us could go home.

Anyway, in seventh grade I was selected to the Menomonee Falls Little League All-Star team. Which was great for me because that was a terrible year for me and I was angry/miserable for two years, but that’s a story for another day.

Even though I was never very tall the coaches would let me play first base most of my career. Too slow to play outfield and never had the knees to play catcher. Also, I was a terrible hitter because I have terrible depth perception, so everything looked like it was out of the strike zone.

We did not make it very far in the tournament. We lost all three qualifying games but had a lot of fun, so much so that I don’t speak to anyone on that team anymore.

We were tied 2-2 and the coach told me to go play third base because I had a cannon for an arm. Now picture this - short fat kid playing third base - any good opposing coach would have every batter lay down a bunt and make me run up to make a play.

Their first batter steps up the plate, I think they were from Germantown or Cedarburg (basically the other rich/white suburbs of Milwaukee.) He sets to bunt I run up on the plate to be ready for it, then he pulls the bat back and my mom and other parents heard me scream, “Oh (bleep)!”

He rips the ball right at me. I jump approximately four feet into the air, snag the ball and rifle it to first base. Then the first baseman dropped it and we eventually lost the game 8-2.

There’s no moral to this story, besides I used to be really good at sports and now I’m a fat guy who sweats just from walking down the hallway.

Give me a call at 715-463-2341 or shoot me an email, editor@burnettcountysentinel.com.