I am the oldest girl in my family; my father had three daughters and always yearned for a son.
Naturally, it became my job to carry out his fantasy. Believe me when I say, I would have much rather been taught how to be a girl but, it just wasn’t in the cards for me.
From the time I could walk I had a baseball in my hand, pretty strange for a little girl but, dad for some twisted reason needed me to play the son role.
My sister who was two years younger than me, got to play girl, in some ways I envy that but, in other ways I don’t. Since I was daddy’s little boy, I learned how to play sports like a boy.
There was no girl who played baseball like I played baseball. I could throw hard and far, I could hit any kind of pitch thrown at me and I could switch hit. Those of you who know nothing about baseball; switch hitting is when you hit right-handed then switch to hitting left-handed or vice versa. Being, ambidextrous, I have always excelled with either hand.
As I got older I started playing softball because that was what “girls” played and even though I was good at it, it was not baseball. I spent my days practicing; throwing, catching and batting. Dad had a wooden bat I practiced with; it was heavy but, if I could swing that and hit the ball, just imagine what I would do with a light-weight aluminum bat.
Every weekend during the summer when dad would come home from work, we would go up to the park for baseball practice. Dad would pitch and I would hit and then we would switch. I could strike dad out several times while playing; my sports abilities were the only thing I received praise for.
The thing I can say about dad teaching me to play baseball is I played like a man; both dad and I could hit damn near any kind of pitch, including ones you would never swing at if you were playing in the Major League. If the ball was within arm reach we would swing at it. It was all in fun and kept our talent at maximum peak.
One day the family went up to the park and played our usual game of baseball. I was pitching, my step-mom was catching, my sisters were in the outfield and dad was batting. He managed to hit a few of my pitches then all of a sudden, I throw this one pitch that maybe dad shouldn’t have swung at. In fact, I know he should NEVER have swung at that. Dad managed to tip the ball with the bat and we all stood shocked as the ball circled high in the sky and CRASHED right into the windshield of his car that was parked on the other side of the fence. It took a few moments and finally dad laughed; “Look what you did.” he told me. “What?! I didn’t hit it.” I replied. Dad never parked that close to the fence ever again.
I can honestly say this is a happy memory from my childhood and I am ok with being treated like a boy so I could have the excellent baseball playing skills I posess. There are many things I might change from back then if I could but, this gift I wouldn’t change for anything.