Asides from my other responsibilities here at the college I have taken on the position of Coach of the Softball and Baseball teams as requested by the players. It started when I would join in on the Cricket teams practices and eventually the captain of the Softball and Baseball teams asked if I would be their coach. I was excited to accept this role. We began practices roughly three weeks ago and towards the end we began practicing twice a day (once in the morning and once in the afternoon). Some of the boys had played on previous teams but the majority of the players were enjoying their first swing at the American bat and ball sports.
On Sunday night the captain called me and informed me that our first game of the league would be tomorrow. "We leave at 530", he said to me.
"OK... and we play one game tomorrow?" I asked.
"Yes" he says.
"One game and then we come home?"
"Ok. Well I will see you in the morning then."
So I get up at 5 and take a bucket bath and prepare for the day. At 530 we leave and head to the bus station to take a bus an hour south to a town called Tiruvella. We arrive around 730, have breakfast and make it to the field by 815. As we are walking in I notice a lot of activity going on around the field. To my delight they are still measuring out the field and chalking it by hand. 10 AM rolls around and still no games have been played. Eventually, at around 130pm we play our first game-- winning 13-2. They play five inning games to keep play moving. I was very excited and the players had played extremely well and had even incorporated many of the things we had talked about leading up to the match. An all around sound showing. I was excited to head back home too because a long day out in the sun can be quite draining. To my surprise none of my players seemed to be getting ready to leave. "Shall we go?" I asked.
"No. We still have at least one more game."
"Um.... I thought we had one game today?"
It turns out we did only have one game today... and then another one... and then another one. Three in total. And, whereas I had assumed "league" meant that we would be playing over the course of several weeks, we were in fact cramming the league into four long days. By the time I got home and had taken off my sandals I realized that I had the Chaco tan to end all Chaco tans. If anyone knows of a more ridiculous Chaco/sandal tan please do send pictures. Here is mine:
By the end of the four days (which ended up concluding on Saturday because of heavy rain delays on Tuesday and Wednesday) our team finished second out of eight. Something we are very proud of.
If anyone is involved in a Baseball or Softball league and would like to help out this team at all it would be greatly appreciated. The team is using very old/broken equipment. My outfielders don't use gloves (Two of them are left handed and you can't get left handed gloves in India and we only have six gloves good enough to be used in games leaving the outfielders to catch the softball/baseball as they would a cricket ball). I am not sure if sending equipment would be the best idea because of shipping costs and unreliability of the postal service here. If you are interested in helping out or know someone else who might be, please contact me via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org