Let’s jump right into this week’s Friday conversation: Tell us about your most memorable personal athletic achievement. Tell us about the time you pitched a no-hitter in Little League. Tell us about the time you went Barry Sanders in junior high for a crazy 100-yard touchdown. Tell us about the time you finished a marathon. Anything goes here, as long as it’s tangentially related to sports.
For example, this works:
I busted through a crowd full of people, jumped and caught a hockey puck at a game.
This does not:
I once had a triple kiss under the bleachers during a high school football game.
Got it? Tell us your stories.
I was a basketball prodigy, I was basically Isiah Thomas when I was 7-years-old. I was so much faster, so much more skilled then all the other kids in the league. It really wasn’t fair to tell you the truth. One time (and there’s video of this), I scored 19 points in about 10 minutes of play. Back then, in the city league, you weren’t allowed to press (because, well, you’re 7-years-old), so that limited the opportunities to really pour it on. So I generally waited for the point guard at half-court, picked his pocket and went the other direction.
I was an asshole.
During one game, I stole the ball from some kid on three straight possessions—-so he started crying—there was a timeout—his parents had to come over and console him. It got so bad that the ref told the coach he had to bench me for the rest of the game.
So yes, my greatest athletic achievement involved a crying child who screamed “mercy.”
(I later got fat, was cut from the 8th grade basketball team and now blog in my underwear.)
Freshman year of high school, I was on the baseball team. I wasn’t very good. I could run fast and I was pretty damn good with the glove, but I couldn’t hit a lick so I never really played. But one day our catcher went down with an injury, and I can’t remember why, but our backup wasn’t available either, so coach turned to me. “Can you catch?” he asked. “I’m not sure,” I probably said. But he was desperate, so he gave me a shot. I didn’t make a single error and I even threw out a guy trying to steal a base. But the best part was in the last inning, we had a 1 run lead and the other team had a runner on 3rd with 1 out. The batter hit a short fly to CF, our CF’er caught it for the 2nd out, and the runner tagged. I caught the throw in from the outfield and the runner was still only 3/4 down the line, so he turned around and tried to get back to 3rd. Instead of getting him in a rundown, I chased him down in full catchers gear and caught him just as he was making his dive back to 3rd. Ump called him out and the game was over. I don’t think I played another inning the rest of the year, but I’ll always have that game.
One time when I was pitching in a high school game I plunked the same kid twice in one inning. Depends on your definition of “best,” I guess.
Cass Anderson from Brobible:
My first race after losing enough weight to become a coxswain (required to be 120-pounds and under), we were practicing before the start of the race, going through our drills. In the distance I see an official setting race buoys, he’s easily 75-100 feet out of our pathway, so I start us on our sprint warmups and stop paying attention. Low and behold we get close, smash into the side of the jon boat, taking off nearly the entire bow of our boat. We then have to book it back to the docks before sinking, we swap out for another boat that was ready to go, and finished up 2nd in the race.
I wanted to be a good athlete when I was younger, but I was usually chubby and therefore made for a good catcher in baseball. Unless they’re named Molina, catchers aren’t typically the guys providing the best plays on the field. In college, I was a B-team reject for my fraternity, as I served up a hilarious four home runs to the same guy in a four inning baseball game, I once let a ball go right between my legs as a soccer goalie (in my defense, I was really hungover and might have thrown up in the goal box), and I’m pretty sure I got a concussion running into the wall while playing floor hockey. So I’m going to go with the 286 that I bowled in my Beginning Bowling class in college, because it earned me the Most Improved Bowler trophy that I still have.
Of course, I manipulated the system by starting the class off pretending that I was the worst bowler on Earth, but a 286 is awesome. I really think if I hadn’t been flirting with a girl in my class, I might have not rolled a 6 in the middle of that 10th frame. Oh well.