I was ten at the time when I joined my Middle School Softball team. Probably the worst on all of the team, but I picked up the bats and I walked after the coaches and did what they said, so I think that's why they kept me around. I didn't have glasses or contacts at the time, either, so blind as a bat, I went out there and played out field.
I couldn't throw the ball very far, nor could I see very well to catch - though by luck, during the last training before actual play, I caught two balls out of no where and got to start the very first game - at least for the first two innings.
I didn't get to play again. I wasn't really that good.
But then on the last game of the season, small me - maybe under ninety pounds at the time - bones and skin and just not right for baseball - asked to play just one inning because my parents were there. They'd never come to my games before, yet there they were.
We didn't win and I didn't catch anything. I was still, you know, pretty bad off, but the feeling to know my parents were watching me was one of the best in the world.
I learned that day that it wasn't really about softball, just the desire to feel loved by my family.
It was a great lesson.