Weight: 170 lbs. (and dropping!)
Hair: Brown, awesome
COMPLETE ATHLETIC RECORD
LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL (Ages 7-13)
- Strengths: Good throwing arm, reliable glove, excellent plate discipline
- Weaknesses: No power, no strike zone judgment, slow, afraid of balls thrown more than 60 mph.
- Positions played well: Catcher, second base, third base
- Positions played incompetently: Outfield (all), pitcher
LOWLIGHTS: Walked four people in a row during disastrous stint as pitcher. Almost threw ball at fat kid who mocked him for walking said people. Fat kid was walking down first base line at the time. Struck out with frequency and flair. Bad eyesight. Struck out on purpose against last pitcher ever faced, due to pitcher's first offering going an inch over his head at eighty miles per hour. Catcher's return throw to the pitcher once hit him in the head while he was in the batter's box. Struck out--looking!--on a full count with the bases loaded and two outs in the final inning of the local championship game*.
REASON FOR RETIREMENT: Couldn't hit a curveball.
PLAYER SUMMATION: Futility infielder.
*OK, while technically true, the circumstances were bullshit. We were down by five, so even if I hit a grand slam, we still had the autistic kid who hated baseball coming up after me. I read Ted Williams' "The Science of Hitting" (fat lot of good it did me), and its central tenet was that it's pointless to swing at a pitch you can't hit. So I didn't swing at that pitch. Wanna know why? IT WAS AT MY FRIGGING ANKLES! When the ump rang me up, I had to restrain myself from breaking his arm with my bat.
POP WARNER/HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL (ages 10-14)
- Strengths: Ability to understand plays. Advanced sense of self-preservation.
- Weaknesses: Average size. Slow. Lacks agility. Afraid of contact. Averse to pain. Glasses.
- Positions played well: Left bench
- Positions played incompetently: All
LOWLIGHTS: Refused to go all-out in drills. Shied away from every tackle. Run over constantly at the line of scrimmage. Cried when formerly undefeated team lost a heartbreaker to North Attleboro. Lost a cleat in the mud of a Martha's Vineyard field. Fractured right pinky finger after catching it in opponent's facemask. Mocked by creepy drunken townie for sitting out with said injury.
REASON FOR RETIREMENT: Spent week-long training camp in hellish Vermont locale with two-a-day practices, shitty food, and no pillows/sheets/mattresses. Literally slept on wood.
PLAYER SUMMATION: Looks a bit lost out there.
*This one kid I knew, Derek Durkin, was a fleet and nimble running back. Really talented, just loved the game. We had this one drill where two players faced off, about twenty yards apart. The coach held a ball in the air between the players, and they had to run forward and either a) get the ball or b) tackle the guy with the ball. This was the dumbest fucking drill I'd ever been a part of. I always slowed up so I wouldn't get the ball and made a half-hearted dive at my opponent. My coaches were always pissed. One of them headbutted me while I was wearing a helmet. Derek Durkin, maybe eleven or twelve years old at the time, received THREE CONCUSSIONS from this and various other drills. So yeah, no thanks. I like my brain intact.
GOLF (age 14?)
- Strengths: Hit the crap out of the ball
- Weaknesses: Didn't know where the ball was going. Hated golf.
- Positions played well: Not golfer.
- Positions played incompetently: Golfer
LOWLIGHTS: Crazy kid who ended up being a townie nearly decapitated him with a five-iron after some gentle mocking of his swing.
REASON FOR RETIREMENT: Found out he hated golf.
PLAYER SUMMATION: Hated golf.
*"When I hit a ball, I want someone else to go chase it."--Hall of Fame second baseman Rogers Hornsby. Hell yeah, Rajah.
FENCING (ages 14-present)
- Strengths: Strong wrists. Totally awesome salute. Looked cool in a white kevlar bodysuit. Awesome hair looked cool when mask was taken off dramatically. Got to keep sweet purple warmup suit from Northwestern.
- Weaknesses: Mediocre footwork. Tended to fall in love with parries and neglect offense. Usually faced off against D-I scholarship athletes who had been fencing their entire lives and occasionally were Olympians. Lost to girls*.
- Positions played well: Pain-in-the-ass defensive specialist
- Positions played incompetently: Attacker
LOWLIGHTS: Unconfirmed number of losses, possibly in the thousands. Lost 15-0 in Ohio State Duals against some guy who he later found out was captain of "The Excalibur Squad", whatever that is. Tried and failed to cause crippling knee injuries to Ohio State fencers. Never went to supposedly mandatory workouts due to combination of 7 AM start time, two-mile walk, cold weather, and alcohol.
REASON FOR RETIREMENT: Combination of daily three hour practices, vastly increasing academic workload, and constant ass-kickings.
PLAYER SUMMATION: Looked cool, at least.
*To be absolutely fair, these girls were the cream of the crop. NU is one of those schools which is ranked anywhere between No. 1 and No. 5 in the country at any given point, so these kids had all kinds of family traditions, dating back like a hundred years. Not that you care, you jerks.
TRACK (age 15)
- Strengths: None
- Weaknesses: Slow.
- Positions played well: Sitter.
- Positions played incompetently: Runner
LOWLIGHTS: Brought a book to the only practice he attended. Read it while coach was talking. Quit after first quarter-mile due to boredom.*
REASON FOR RETIREMENT: Slow, hated track.
PLAYER SUMMATION: Hated track.
*Neil Gupta, noted track stalwart, has never let me forget this. I still don't have the foggiest idea why I decided to try running, considering I hate running and have to listen to angry-man music to get through 15 minutes on a treadmill.
OVERALL PLAYER EVALUATION
Strong arm. Good hands. Slow feet. Hates pain. Loves competition. Used to wish he was Ted Williams. Will now settle for Joe Posnanski.