Well it is time to put another softball season to rest and, according to my lovely wife, it is also time to put another softball shirt to rest as well. She tells me that the shirt is old and misshapen. She said she soaked it for a week and still the dirt stains refuse to come out. Apparently she thinks I care about playing softball in a clean shirt which, of course, I don’t. If I came home from a softball game in a clean shirt I think my wife would be asking for eyewitness confirmation that I really played. I am kind of like Pig Pen from Peanuts when it comes to softball, no matter what I do, I tend to get dirty. A sure sign that I have played a good softball game is that I need to hose off my shirt and socks in the driveway before even coming inside. Those ground-in brown splotches on the shirt may be seen as a challenge to my wife. To me they are little badges of honor, reminders of bases slid into and tumbling attempts to deny line drives admission to the outfield grass. I suppose that I have been through a number of shirts and jerseys over the years and I am confident none of them left my possession clean.
I admit I am a bit reluctant to let this shirt go. We have been through a lot together and I am a lot like that shirt. It has been with me in the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat (and the agony of sore muscles), through trials and errors (lots of errors), though thick and thin (well mostly thick and thicker). Like this shirt, I am a bit used up, a bit misshapen and a bit stained. But I keep going out and giving it a shot even though I know my best days are behind me. I guess as long as it is only the shirt getting tossed and not the wearer along with it, I shouldn’t put up too much of a fight. I can always find a nice, new, clean shirt. I just know that it will not stay clean for long.