“BAD JOB, JENNY!!!”
A parent sitting in the bleachers at a softball field in Wisconsin Dells during a girls 18U travel tournament in the summer of 1996 was so upset about an error that she felt compelled to yell at the pitcher who committed it.
Never mind that this field was basically 100 percent sand and you sank like a foot every time you took a step, and it was torture trying to play in that sh*t. The pitcher really could make no valid excuse for airmailing the ball. It was an easy play. A gimme. But she had a legit chink in her athletic armor that, as it turns out, she never really outgrew.
Hi, my name is Jen(ny), and I have the yips when it comes to throwing to first base.
Somehow I still made it on to a college team, though, where the issue wasn’t so much the old 1-3 putout (I learned to underhand those come-backers; ha-ha!) as it was the 43 feet I had to cover from mound to plate. Not only was pitching from that distance an adjustment, given that high school mounds in Illinois were 40 feet back then, but I was also a freshman walk-on facing seasoned Big Ten hitters, and sometimes (read: often), that skill disparity was brutally obvious.
Before my byline began appearing in the sports pages of the Daily Northwestern, as it would pretty regularly over the following three years, the only time I made the paper was after a particularly gruesome relief appearance in a particularly lopsided loss that the student beat writer was on hand to witness. His recap the next day included the line:
“…AND IN THE FIFTH, JENNI WIELGUS CAME ON AND COULDN’T STOP THE BLEEDING.”
😂😂😂😂😂😂 Continue reading “Failure”