Quality, not quantity

During the entire season of softball I have never once made a successful catch. This was partly because I was lousy at determining where the ball would land, equally bad regarding the dimensions of my GIANT HAND and vain enough to like my nose the shape it was. Because of this, my team kindly placed me on short field when we weren't batting, meaning that I had back-up both behind me from the outer fielders and in-front of me from the basemen.

In the last game I was to play in, this successful set-up was changed and I was put as catcher. This was because I still couldn't run well after my fall in the previous game and everyone was kindly pretending that would make a difference. The catcher stands behind the batter as a backstop and doubles up as the forth basemen on home. While it is considered advantageous to have competent people on all the bases, the catcher is not as vital as the first basemen, who has the chance to get out every single player. For me, the batter has to have got past three of my friends first before I have a chance of getting them out.

Unfortunately, the other team were rather good at this. I was doing my best. Enthusiastically, I stepped forward when the batter ran and put one foot on the base, indicating that I was here, ready to stop all those home runs and hoping by now everyone had more sense than to take me up on this offer.

Half-way through the top of the seventh inning, and the other team had two people on the bases. Then the batsman hit far into the outfield and went for the home run. The guy on third base dashed past me, hotly pursued by his two teammates. Our outer fielder threw the ball towards the diamond, where it was caught by a baseman. He turned towards me and I held out my glove, thinking...

'..... oh crap.'

The ball landed squarely in my hand.

"Out and out!" shouted the umpire. "Three outs."

I stared at the yellow sphere. One season. One catch. But it was the right one.