Sunday, May 9, 2010

If you can't take the pain... you're not the one laughing

MARK’S ARTICLE – May 8, 2010 “Great injuries of the past”

Only two people were injured at my place during the family get-together last weekend. I call that a success. During football season, we generally have several injuries. Bruises, pulled muscles, torn body parts… Few broken bones. Don’t know why that is.

Baseball was the sport of choice this time. Baseball and bubble blowing. We don’t try to knock people off their feet during baseball and bubble blowing. Not usually. Thus, fewer injuries. Something to do with physics.

On Saturday, Joe Bear was the first to take a direct hit. He’s my little nephew. Dennis’ grandson. J Bear got swacked on the back with a bat. Say that real fast and I think you’ve got a rap song.

The swack would’ve knocked the bear boy sillier had it been a wooden or metal bat. Fortunately, it was plastic. I think Jasmine swung it. Maybe Lauren. Never could hone in on the true story. I was too busy talking to Dennis.

You see, while the women consoled JB, Dennis and I started talking about handball. It follows perfectly, if stay with me. When my big brother and I played handball in college, we would occasionally get smacked (not swacked) right on the back by a fast moving handball. The sensation was much like getting hit with a golfball.

There is a place on your back that just hates getting slapped, swacked or smacked by anything… uh, I guess getting smacked by a raisin wouldn’t hurt that much. But everything else hurts like the dickens. If you had seen Joe Bear wincing, it’d bring it all back to you.

After the Bear tired of all the attention, play resumed. It didn’t resume long before J Bear’s mom, Kristy (the sweetest niece in the world) took a hit right in the face with the ball about a nanosecond after it left the bat. She just happened to be passing right by when Clint took a massive swing. He really clocked her.

Had it been a baseball or softball, Kristy would still be in intensive care. Fortunately, it was a whiffle ball. I had no idea a whiffle ball could leave a mark like that on somebody’s face. That’s ‘cause I have never seen anyone get hit that hard from that close. (So, people let’s take a lesson here. Whiffle balls, when batted in too close proximity can really smart.)

While the rest of the group checked on Kristy, Dennis and I started talking about getting hit with a ball. The most memorable time was when we were playing in softball tournament in Baytown. It was 106 degrees in Baytown on that Saturday afternoon. It was 103 during my last telling of the story. Global warming.

Freeman was on first base with Mark Allen at the plate. Mark always hits to right field. Right hander, hits to right. Weird. Freeman knew that. He just wasn’t thinking right. Mark Allen took a massive swing and sent a line drive just to the left of first base. Freeman took one step and got clocked right on the side of the face. Knocked him nuts.

He was bleeding through his nose while looking for his glasses. Freeman didn’t wear glasses at the time. Before he was hustled off to the doctor’s office, you could see the perfect indention of the laces of the softball branded on his face. Coolest thing. (I wouldn’t be talking so callously had my best bud not come out okay. Of course, he does have to wear glasses now.)

Freeman’s hit was scary as all get out. Nothing funny about it. But, when Dennis took a hit during batting practice before a high school game, it was a hoot.

During batting practice a pitcher is supposed to throw the ball right over plate. Hey, it’s practice. However the coach had a wannabe pitcher pitching. The guy was trying to impress the coach, so he was throwing hard… and wild.

At batting practice the last thing the batter is supposed to do is lay down a bunt. So, Dennis turned to bunt and hurled a wild pitch right at him. Dennis got the ol’ deer in the headlight look. Then he did the only thing he could think of… he jumped straight up. Timed his jump perfectly.

Had Dennis not jumped, the ball would’ve hit him right in the chest. It would’ve hurt big time. But, by jumping he got hurt so much worse. You see, Dennis jumped about 20 inches straight up. Do the math. That ball zinged him right in the privates.

I usually never laugh at a weird injury until I know the person is okay. In this case. I couldn’t help it. I tell you, it looked just like Dennis jumped in an attempt to get the ball to hit him right in the wallys (no need to consult a dictionary).

As Dennis rubbed his knees with his elbows, we all laughed till we about passed out. The injury had no lasting effect on Dennis, other than keeping him from squaring up during a bunt. Yeah, it hurt his bunting game pretty much. It was worth it, though, from where I was standing.

I really doubt the two injuries that occurred Saturday will be remembered at future family gatherings. Just not all that spectacular. However, they did provide ample time for Dennis and me to discuss the truly great injuries of the past. -- Like I say, the gathering was a success.


You can contact Mark at


  1. Good article Moke. Wallys - that's funny.
    Lauren threw the ball up and hit the ball into J Bear's back, that's what I was told by Jazzy, and she was sitting right there and saw it all. I didn't even know that Kristy got hit, bless her heart. We're so old Moke! I'm 2 years away from 60!! Can that be possible?? OMGOSH!!!!!

  2. You're lucky those kids didn't hurt you OLD people. Heck, even bubbles in the eye hurt. Glad you survived.

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