April 10, 2020

The Tree Falls Silently

The problem with not writing anything for a while, or a long while, is knowing where to start when you finally return to the keyboard.

What’s the point? Who will actually read this? What interested me that I’ve already forgotten?

The last thing I published was in June, 2013.

It’s not to say things haven’t interested me in that time, and I have surely filled up multiple notebooks of things I discovered, or things I wanted to know.

I’ve written biographies and game reports for various Society of American Baseball Research (SABR) book efforts, like the one about Bobby Thomson that was essentially an ode to my father, who loved the moment in time with Thomson his the game-winner in the final game of 1951 that clinched the pennant for the New York Giants.

But these contributions are research efforts, not timely accounts of something that occurred in the now and present.

I remember as a kid in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where I would watch fastpitch softball games at Ellis Park, in a league (Major Open) that was one of the most advanced and competitive in the nation, and would then go home and write a game story. Being nine or 10 years old, I’m certain the third grade quality wouldn’t win any awards, but it was the recap, the reflection of the game that made the task enjoyable.

A few years ago, I became friends with Dave Kindred, an amazing writer who can weave together a compelling story out of any situation. I have read many, many articles with Dave’s byline, and recognizing the talent he possesses puts my own amateur efforts into perspective.

Talent aside, I’m fortunate I never pursued that career, which has struggled with layoffs, economic constraints, shifting distribution methods.

My $4 a month investment in a website allows me the privilege to write what I want, acting as my own editor. It’s really not a bad deal – especially when writing becomes therapy, or if nothing else, a creative outlet. And when you have no defined audience, I’ve discovered, you can write whatever you want, as the likelihood of it being read isn’t great.

The original plan was to augment my photographic exploits, and possibly use as a way to market interest in the end product. So I try to accompany every post with a photo, even though I don’t actively market photos anymore, instead preferring the occasional freelance opportunity.

This entry is Tony Mancha, a pitcher for the United States’ entry into the ISF World Championships currently being contested in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. I have written about men’s fastpitch before, and will again. Although it’s been noted as a dying sport for years, what’s left is very entertaining to watch.

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