I'd Probably Be an Amesome Pitcher

As a youngster, I was a damn good pitcher. I never once played in a league where I didn't make an All Star game. And if you want to say I only made the All Star game because my dad was the coach, well, my dad was kicked out of the majority of my Little League games because he was drunk off of Crystal Lite and Vodka. So there.

However, there are three things which kept me from pitching in the Major Leagues:

1. I went to the wrong high school.

1994. The summer after my Eighth Grade year I played Pony League for the Peoria Notre Dame High School team. Fuck, I was 13 years old and Catholic...how could I not play for a Notre Dame team?

My team went on to win the Peoria City League Championship (not to brag, but the winning run was scored on a fielder's choice by yours truly.) After the game, the coach from Peoria High School talked to me and told me that I would be his #2 Varsity starter next season if I decided to go to Peoria High (by the way, at the time I had never seen "The Program" and knew little about shady recruitment policies or about James Cann.)

Instead of committing to go to Peoria High that evening, I went to Monical's Pizza and ate my own weight in pepperoni and cheese.

Yes, I was a chubby 13 year old. And, yes, I hade never kissed a girl at that time. Thanks.

2. I was good, but I wasn't left handed.

Honestly, I was pretty effing good. If a few tough breaks would have gone my way, I'd be pitching for the Saint Louis Cardinals this post season.

I remember my Freshman year in High School quite well. I was the Bob Tewksbury of Peoria, IL Junior Varsity Baseball, circa 1995. Nobody scored on me. Nobody. I ended the season with a 0.00 ERA. Also, I struck out a batter per inning. 9 K's per 9 IP's. Yeah, ladies, I was that good.

Since I had a late birthday for my class, I was allowed to play in Peoria's "Pony League" after my Freshman year of High School. Yeah, I might have been playing against a bunch of 13 year olds, and throwing from only 45 feet away, but my 68 Mile per Hour fastball made all of those little pansies wet themselves. Yeah, I was that good.

However, going into my Sophomore year, there were six right handed pitchers vieing for four starting pitchers spots. Two of the six were obviously better than the other four. That left Mike Broadhurst, Tim Arnett, Mike Lervaag , and myself (all Right Handers) to battle it out for the two final pitching spots. Once I realized that I was in no way more talented than any of the other pitchers I was competing against, I decided that I would have to exude more spunk to really show my spirit to the coaching staff. The next day, after rededicating myself to be a "leader" and a "team player" I was the first to hop inside of the batting practice cage. All guts and glory, I was.

"Hey Fritz, watch out, 'cause I'm not sure where this first one is a going," yelled Coach Cundiff, from behind the pitching machine.

"Bring it, coach," I said, full of piss and vinegar.

Two seconds later I followed that manly quote up with "Ohhhhhh....." Yeah, that's right...I had been hit with an 85 mile-per-hour curve. In fact, it hit me directly in the knee cap. While I was lying on the ground, withering in pain from a displaced patella, it dawned on me, "If I was left handed, I wouldn't even have to try out for a roster spot. I wish I was left handed. Also, someday I hope to get one of those 'blow jobs' that all of the Seniors have been talking about. They sound sweeeeet."

3. I forgot to learn how to throw faster than 68 miles-per-hour.

I had some nasty shit, man. Two seamer. Four seamer. Curve. Change. Knuckle Curve. Splitter.

You name the pitch and I can at least recreate the grip for the pitch, let alone throw it for a strike.

But a funny thing happened between throwing 278 pitches a day to my best friend "pitch back" and being open handed slapped by my father when I was off by a quarter inch over the plate with my curve ball (in his defense, again, he was drunk.) Unfortunately, my arm strength never actually developed after I was 15 years old.

I really don't know what I could have done differently, but I still throw a tennis ball at least 150 times a day against my neighbors garage hoping to be discovered by a scout and have a second career like Dennis Quaid did after he gave up acting to pitch for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

I wouldn't be surprised if I make the Majors some day. Sure, that Community College scholarship fell through, but this is baseball man...where dreams are made. Field of Dreams, baby.

In the meantime, you can find me at your local sports bar. I'll be bellied up to the bar, telling my girlfriend about the no hitter I threw in high school for the thirty-first time in nine months and second guessing whichever third base coach happens to be on TV.


(Editor's note - Although his stats were correct, it bears mentioning that Alex only pitched one inning in his High School Career. Also, he graduated as a virgin.)

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