Ronnie only wore part of his uniform. But as a team member, he would be eligible to play. And as one of the team’s top pitchers he wouldn’t even have to take a fielding position (although anything hit back up the middle might prove to be a temptation). The opposing coach was reluctant to let a player wearing an orthopedic brace take the field. But the umpire said OK, and Ronnie went to the mound.
The good news is he pitched beautifully in his brief appearance. The bad news is his team ended up losing the game. Worse, his mom, Ruth, didn’t get to see him pitch, staying home because he wasn’t supposed to play.
The brace is off now. X-rays showed the injury has healed. And he has been cleared for full activity again.
The injury wasn’t bothering him during our Christmas get-together. His mother said he had worried whether he’d have trouble opening presents. His 6-year-old sister, Gracie, said she’d open them for him. Suddenly he decided it wouldn’t be any problem after all.
Jim Bailey’s column appears on Thursday. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.