Tangled Up in the Schneid

23 Feb

When people think of men playing slow pitch softball, a few images might pop into their heads. A bunch of non-athletic guys hobbling around and drinking beer. A church league where there are a lot of swings and misses. An intramural league in college where the athletics team up to dominate everyone else.

That may be what people think about, but I grew up in a different kind of game. My dad sponsored a professional men’s slow pitch softball team, and we played at the highest levels of the sport. We flew throughout the country to play in the biggest tournaments and had players at the peak of their athletic form. When I try to describe how good these guys were, people can’t believe that most of the players could hit softballs out of baseball stadiums.

(Time for a little bragging. In recent years, my dad, his manager and four of his players have been inducted into the Tennessee Softball Hall of Fame.)

We played in a lot of big games, but a game was truly important when Ray Molphy, the Voice of Softball, was announcing the game.Ray Molphy

I can vividly remember playing under the lights on a Saturday night with thousands of people around the field. Ray’s voice would be booming through the air as he announced the game. While he didn’t take sides, Ray told me privately that he was also pulling for us. Our budget wasn’t as large as the teams we were playing, so we were a perpetual underdog that made sure our opponent was in for a fight.

Like all good announcers, Ray had catchphrases that everyone recognized.

If a player had hit for a single and a home run, then he had hit for “the minimum and the maximum”.

When a team was coming up to bat in an inning, the first batter was in the box; the second batter was on deck; and, the third batter was “lurking in the shadows”.

If a player had not yet gotten a hit, then he was “tangled up in the schneid”.

I have been thinking about Ray’s lines because I feel that I am tangled up in the blogging schneid. I am having a hard time coming up with anything that is interesting or original. My posts are lacking something that I can’t put my finger on. It just feels that there is something missing.

When a player stepped to the plate and heard Ray talking about the schneid, they would react a couple of ways. One, they would get mad and make it worse. Two, they would use it for motivation to get a hit. I don’t know which way I am going to react, but, right now, I feel like the schneid is all over me.

7 Responses to “Tangled Up in the Schneid”

  1. Pam Tomlinson February 23, 2013 at 21:57 #

    Being the “wiley old blogging veteran” you are, you will soon be getting off the schneid. But if you don’t, it could get ugly.


    • Rick February 24, 2013 at 21:29 #

      It seems that a wiley older veteran came up with that.

  2. Jan Evett February 24, 2013 at 02:52 #

    write from your heart… about what you know best … something you’re passionate about (not your girlfriend, lol) … TN history maybe or famous people you’ve known in TN … something that no one else knows but would be interesting to your readers

    • Rick February 24, 2013 at 21:31 #

      Thanks for the advice. I have to find something in here to write about. The search is on.

  3. Madame Weebles February 27, 2013 at 23:22 #

    I’ve always liked the expression, “On the schneid.” It’s more fun to say than just “below the Mendoza line.” I know what you mean about the blogging schneid. I go through too. But hey, even All-Star players and Gold Glove winners have slumps on occasion. I tell myself, “Just keep grinding through those at-bats and eventually you’ll get a hit again.” But I know it’s still a bummer in the meantime. Hang in there!

    • Rick February 28, 2013 at 00:23 #

      I’m still hacking away. I wonder what it feels like to have a mark of mediocrity named after you. Old Mendoza must be proud.


  1. Sandy Springs Park – My Personal Field of Dreams | Surrounded By Imbeciles - May 27, 2014

    […] Thousands of people sit on the hillsides to watch the best teams in the nation. The sounds of Ray Molphy, the Voice of Softball, would boom through the night air. It is […]

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