Eastern Ontario Fastball Blog

A blog dedicated to news about the Greater Ottawa Fastball League and other happenings in the world of fastball / fastpitch softball in eastern Ontario and western Quebec, with occasional stories featuring Mrs Fitzroy Fastball, Fitzroy Fastball Junior and the Caveman. If you have info to send on, send me an email at fastball[at]fitzroyharbour.com. Follow @fitzroyfastball on Twitter.

Follow fitzroyfastball on Twitter

Friday, May 10, 2013

Caveman pitching debut

The Caveman has taken the Softball Ontario pitching course this year and the previous year - but up until Thursday, he had never actually pitched in a "real" game. After countless hours of practicing in the gym and in the backyard, it was finally time for his debut in pitching in a fastball game.

The Caveman is actually only "Atom" age - in West Carleton, that's 'coach pitch'. But his aunt and uncle coach one of the Mites teams in Fitzroy, featuring Cousin Herb. They were short this week - including both of their two main pitchers absent. So the call came and the Caveman was very excited. He has played Mites before, sparing last year on a couple of occasions, including a Mite Selects game which he still talks about ("Daddy, remember the time I stole home in that Selects game, Daddy?").

But this time was different. This time he was given the heads up they wanted him to pitch.

The game was in Kinburn. We arrived early and warmed up. Then the questions started. "Will they let me pitch, Daddy. I'm pitching, right? Do I get to pitch the first inning? How many innings will I pitch?"

I did my best to manage his expectations - after all, he was a guest on this team.

But it turns out his Auntie had him slotted in to pitch the first inning. When he was told that he had the ball to start, there was a look of happiness one would usually equate with Christmas morning. His dad on the other hand was a nervous wreck. His older brother Fitzroy Junior has pitched before, but he is a much more easy-going child. As regular blog readers know, the Caveman has a bit of temper. I was somewhat worried that if it didn't go well I may never be able to convince him to play ball again let alone pitch.

Not being part of the coaches for this team, I began to pace. I wore a path along the fence of that Kinburn diamond that will probably take a trailer load of topsoil to fill. I had no idea how he would do. It's one thing to pitch to your dad after school, but quite another in a game with kids up to two years older.

His catcher was our neighbour Arnold (you may remember this story) and he did well to give the Caveman a good target.

And then play started and he started throwing strikes. I am talking the Mites version of beebees. Keep in mind he just turned 8 and he was throwing against up to 10 year olds. Now, truth be told, he did walk a few kids, but mostly he just blew the ball past these poor Kinburn kids who couldn't even foul it off. The best player from Kinburn stroked out a triple to the grass as Cousin Herb stood still in centre, hands in his pockets; but other than that they barely touched him.

In the West Carleton Mites league, half innings last until the hitting team scores five runs or the defense gets three outs. Probably about 70 per cent of the time the team scores the five runs. But with the Caveman on the slab for two innings, the other team only scored one run, and he got six outs - all by strike out. These strikeouts were not spazzy kids swinging at pitches of their heads. These were fastballs right over the plate that the surprisingly good 13 year-old umpire recognized as legit strikes.

I probably should get my priorities straight. He is a very good student at school, a loving boy that you can't help but want to hug, a wonderfully crazy amusing child....but I was never so proud of him watching him pitch in a Mites house league game like that. He had very high expectations for himself and he did so well.

And hey....if the Caveman turns out to be a fastball pitcher going forward, surely that will be a great source of blog stories!

Official Caveman pitching line, preserved on the blog for prosperity:

WP: Caveman 2IP 1R 1ER 2H 3BB 1HBP 6K

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home