As many kids I loved to play baseball when I was young, still do when I get the rare chance. I was not the best player, but pretty good and I competed hard. I remember the game well, it was kind of hot, I had just gotten a butch hair cut. That helped with the heat and sweet under the catcher helmet, or so I told myself as the kids picked on me for being bald. But there I was having fun as a kid. What more could I want.
The coach had replaced his nephew as catcher with me, I was the back up, and Kev just did not have the intensity I had to play the position. I think it was my second game as catcher when I had to come up big. With runners in scoring position and two outs the batter cracked a ball into the out field. The runner on second was waved home, and there I stood, waiting for the ball. It seemed to hang there for a few seconds, almost like slow motion, I could not hear anything, it was a moment frozen in time.
My knees where bent a little, I was slightly hunched forward. I can’t remember if the infielder cutoff the throw and then threw to me, but it was right on line, a perfect throw. The ball struck my glove with authority and without thinking I dropped down and blocked the plate with my knees and tagged the runner. It was a hard slide, but I had my right hand on my glove to secure the ball. “Your out” yell the ump. The opposition coach ran onto the field yelling that I couldn’t do that. The ump told him firmly that it was within the rules.
It was out number 3, we keep the lead. Our pitcher came back out and slammed the door in the final 2 innings. I think we even scored again. But we won, I came up big at the right time. There was no stat recorded for what I had done. Many others in that win did things to help, but there was no recorded stat for them. Our reward was to go to the local ice cream place and we were a happy bunch.
Fast forward almost 30 years later I was caught in another “moment frozen in time”, but this time it was not a game. I was awoke by a buzz and beeping noise, my daughters dexcom CGM. It only makes that when she is low. It was 3 or 4am, after my wife had done the night time checks around 2am. My wife was sound asleep, so I grabbed the meter and some juice to raise blood sugar. I checked the CGM, double arrows down and I can’t remember the exact number, but it was in the 40’s. I did the finger poke and it confirmed the number, dexcom was right on. I had my daughter drink some juice and I gave her a temp basal rate (after I ask my wife how to do it). I rechecked later and she was back in the 100’s and was fine.
That night seemed frozen because of the fear it struck in me to see the blood sugar crashing like that and without reason. Especially when she was fine a few hours before, I wish I had a reason. The only noise I seemed to hear was the CGM and the meter. This time it was not a game, it was the difference between my child drinking juice or having to use a glucagon shot and a trip to the ER. I guess I blocked the plate.
It has been many years since I’ve seen any of the guys I played baseball with, all over the country we have moved. It has been even longer since I’ve seen my coach, the one who trusted me to be the starting catcher. If I see him again someday, I will tell him I’m still blocking the plate.