When was the last time you got cut

Back in my high school years, when I was growing, moving through the awkward stages, and trying to figure out what life was all about, I got cut.  I’m not talking about stuck with a knife, I’m talking about didn’t make the team. 

My favorite sport has always been baseball.  I think part of it was my father’s love for the game and the countless hours of playing catch in the back yard.  He had two gloves that were made way back in the days before leather or padding it seemed.  One was an old first baseman’s glove back when they only had two sides and looked like an overgrown mitten. 

The other was an infielders glove with a webbing on it that was barely 2 inches across. 

He could use both though and there we would be, before and after dinner, out in the yard playing catch.  We had a dirt driveway so basketball was out of the question and I was forbidden from playing football on account of the desire to keep my knees intact.

Freshman year of high-school I somehow made the Junior Varsity basketball team.  I did a fantastic job that year keeping the right end of the bench warm and cheering on the guys who could actually play.  The same thing had happened in eighth grade since I had yet to actually grow.  However, the one thing I excelled at in eighth grade sports was baseball.  I was the catcher for our team and played fairly well.  A friend of mine was a pitcher on that same team so imagine my surprise when he informed me he was trying out for catcher when we got to freshman year. 

My school was too small to field a varsity and junior varsity so freshmen had to try out for varsity.  The upperclassman catcher was really good so I decided I would pitch instead.  Let’s face it, I was in 9th grade, it wasn’t like I was throwing heat up there that was going to scare the seniors.  I was accurate, but basically not good enough and when the list of who made the team came out, my name was not on it.  That was it.  The end.  Game over.  I didn’t want to go back to school, or try to run track.  After a few days of mourning I got my head around the situation.  Even made the team the next year as a second baseman (of course, the senior second baseman was really good so I kept the bench warm for that season too). 

That was the last time I got cut.  You know what?  I survived.  Even learned something from it.  Life continues to move ahead.  The world did not stop spinning because my name was not on a list.  Strange as it seems, that moment probably helped shape my life somehow.  I did start the last two years in high-school as a pitcher or at second base depending on the game.  I put my time in on the bench and then got to share some of the spotlight.  Well, as much as they could afford at a class D sized school in rural new york state.  As I recall, we didn’t have lights.  Maybe I was sharing some of the sunlight with my fellow players. 

What does this have to do with anything?  These are the things that go through my head when I’m driving my kids to daycare or running on the treadmill.  I think about a time where something happened that was devastating to me (coming into a game senior year to face a team we had not beaten in three years while were ahead by 2 runs and all I needed to do was get one out and I threw one pitch and lost the game) and realize that while it had an effect on me, it didn’t really shift the direction of the universe.  People in Cleveland still went home from work that day.  In Italy, a wine bottle was opened.  Somewhere in Australia a kangaroo crossed a road to get to the other side.  The world keeps spinning.

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One Response to “When was the last time you got cut”

  1. Matt N Says:

    Great article about the important things in life. Kids, playing catch with your dad all those years. You made me remember a lot with your article.

    Thanks for keeping it real Aaron. And remember, when life does throw you a curve ball, you can always cower that it might hit you, or, you can just, “swing away”. (my favorite quote from Mel Gibson/Joaquim Phoenix movie, Signs.

    Peace
    Matt

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