Trophy

It is this trophy’s fault that I struck out every single at-bat the year after I received it. A Google Image search on “proper batting stance” shows that as you hold the bat your hands should be up, ready to swing. The guy on this trophy just looks like he’s ready to swat a fly. Here’s my theory: I completely blew all of my little league peers out of the water in 1996 and at the end of the season I was given this trophy. Granted, everyone on the team got one, but I knew how good I was, and I figured if my coaches could have put an engraving beneath my name–something like, “Best Player on the Team, Ever,”–without alienating my teammates, they totally would have. Therefore, throughout the entire off-season I stared at this shining representation of my evident superiority. I must have idolized this trophy in such a way that I actually adopted this horrible batting stance, because the very next season I struck out every single time I got up to the plate.

The truth is I grew during the off season. I grew a lot. So much so that when I got up to the plate the next year my body had gotten longer, but my muscle memory was still the same–everything was just a little off. That was the last time I played organized baseball. I think I was told that it wasn’t my fault–that my body had grown a lot and it was confused–but I still took it personally, so I blamed it on the lazy trophy makers for not forking over the cash to make the arms of the trophy men raised and set away from their body. I hung onto this because the same mentality that allowed me to blame a trophy has followed me into adulthood. Instead of recognizing the uncontrollability of external forces, I look for something tangible to blame it on so that I can retain the illusion of control. The most recent manifestation of this proclivity is my brand new affinity for dance-pop. I’m currently trying to excuse repeatedly listening to LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It” by focusing on what a delicate science it must be to make a good pop hit, but in reality I’m just becoming less of a music bigot.

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~ by russell jander on January 30, 2012.

3 Responses to “Trophy”

  1. “I’m currently trying to excuse repeatedly listening to LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It” by focusing on what a delicate science it must be to make a good pop hit, but in reality I’m just becoming less of a music bigot.”

    This made me laugh – From one (semi-) music snob to the other, Thank you!

    🙂 K.

  2. When I was a kid, I had a similar experience with having a really good year swinging the bat, and then not being able to hit anything for the first three weeks of the next season, while going through the worst batting slump of my life. I think that all these years later, you just explained what my problem was – the growth/muscle memory problem. I sure had no clue what was wrong at the time. It’s all ancient history for me now, but this still was a very enlightening read for me.

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