High School Baseball: As Seen From the Bench
May 6, 2015
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High school is a time where people look for themselves and find what they really enjoy doing. I knew going in to Paly that I loved baseball. I have played with the baseball team for all four years at Paly. Baseball is a sport that requires focus and long term endurance, as well as short quick movements that could result in your team winning or losing in the blink of the an eye.
I have been a pitcher for as long as I can remember and when this past summer came around I was devastated with an injury. A pitcher’s worst nightmare: a shoulder injury. I had surgery and have been sitting out since December, not doing what I have loved to do for so long; my only job on the team, throwing the baseball. The hardest things in life come when you have no outlet. Pitching was my outlet. I could go on about how awful this season has been, but that is not the point of this article. I have learned a lot about attitude and seeing the glass as half full not half empty during this season. Along with realizing that I can still be apart of the team even though I can’t play has taught me a lot about patience. Being a bench player is somewhat similar to being an offensive lineman. You are never recognized because the camera follows the ball and running back, but without the line there would be no play to follow.
I think that the phrase “bench player” is quite accurate. As a bench player you are at every practice and every game but your role is very different in different settings. In games the bench players are there cheering the hardest and playing as big a role as possible to help the team in any way. In practice they are the ones who are working selflessly trying to get others better, knowing very well that the line-ups are set, so that the team has a better chance of winning. Through trying to better others there is progress on both ends of the spectrum; both the bench players and the starters are getting better. The difference between the two types of players is the fact that starters have seen the reality of the game situations that we run in practice, while the bench players have not seen those same situations in full speed game like conditions. I have learned a lot about baseball through playing the game, but even more through being a bench player.
Michael is a senior at Palo Alto High School. He plays baseball for the Vikings.