Kingsport Times News Tuesday, September 2, 2014

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Baseball signs are a haunting reminder for this Don Juan

May 3rd, 2007 8:39 pm by Pat Kenney



Ever get your signals crossed?


More specifically, I'm talking about baseball signs. I never could keep them straight.


In my precious youth, many, many, many years ago, I loved playing baseball. My hitting was adequate and my fielding was above average, or at least that was my mother's unbiased opinion.


The downfall for me came when I did get on base and had to make sense of all that rubbing, scratching, brushing and touching that was going on in the third base coach's box.


The sequence of the signs was the key. So that signals couldn't be stolen by the opposing team, who were probably as confused as we were, the sequence was changed from game to game. And if you had a particularly paranoid coach he'd switch things up mid-game.


Most of the time I'd have to just turn to the first base coach and ask him what to do. That is if he was paying attention.


Now to the point of my story. During my freshman year in high school, in my infinite wisdom and without a lick of sense, I tried to date two girls at the same time. Not just any two girls for this man about town, either. For me it was the Soulard twins.


Yes, this fool tried to balance twins, somehow thinking I was not going to get caught.


They both showed up for one of my games, one sitting on the first base bleachers and the other in the third base stands. I was safe for the moment.


I started the game getting hit by a pitch. Standing on first base I was again baffled by the signs I was getting.


Additionally, my head was on a swivel looking back and forth between Barbara and Brenda. In all the confusion, I hadn't noticed the pitcher tossing the ball to first base. Unceremoniously tagged out, I trotted back to the dugout to face the ire of my coach.


A weakly struck pitch flared into right field in the third inning and again I was on base. Staring at the third base coach for the signs my heart dropped. There in the background were the Soulard twins, sitting together.


Not a good sign.


They appeared to be arguing and suddenly their heads turned in unison in my direction.


Oh no. The jig was up.


The third base coach was frantically slapping every part of his body and in the background the Soulard twins were giving me signs too - well, actually they were gestures that I can't describe in a family newspaper.


In a panic I took off for second. In an incredible stroke of good fortune, the hit and run was on and I scored all the way from first.


But I wasn't really safe. The Soulard twins were on the rampage and the signs didn't look good for this skinny, quivering Don Juan.


After the game I took a beating from Barbara and Brenda, literally. The resulting bloody lip was a sign I'd never forget.


The hit and run sign better be on if you're fool enough to date twins at the same time.



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