9 Things You Know If You Play Baseball Or Softball In The Midwest
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9 Things You Know If You Play Baseball Or Softball In The Midwest

People who play anywhere else just wouldn't understand the weather.

9 Things You Know If You Play Baseball Or Softball In The Midwest
Ellen Bauch

In honor of college baseball and softball season starting up, let’s take a look at some of the things players from the Midwest know better than anyone else.

1. Fall is a frozen nightmare.

After you’ve played your summer season in the 80 degree heat, transitioning into the fall can be a little difficult. Fall season starts out fairly warm, but by the last couple of weeks it can feel like you’re walking into a polar vortex every time you set foot on the field. You start buying hand warmers in bulk and wonder if you could still turn a double play with a winter coat under your jersey.

2. It doesn't matter how cold it is in the spring.

40 degrees in the fall? Where did I put my parka?

40 degrees in the spring? I wonder if I could wear shorts during batting practice.

It’s a totally different mindset in the spring vs. the fall. You’ve been cooped up indoors for the winter months just waiting for the snow to melt. As soon as it does, you’re ready to get out there and take some grounders on anything other than a makeshift turf floor in a practice facility or the hardwood basketball court of a high school gym. It doesn’t really matter how cold it is, it feels like you’re on a Florida beach.

3. There’s a chance you might have to shovel off your field before opening day.

Break out your pickaxe and blow torch.

The winter is never quite all the way through with you when it comes time to roll the ball out for the first pitch of the season. That means there might be some serious shovel work and maybe a snowball fight or two if you want to play.

4. Teams from the south are intimidating, but you can take them down.

Sure, they might be 6-foot-5 and have beards that would make Brian Wilson jealous (probably just in baseball), but that doesn’t mean anything. They get to play outside for most of the year, so they definitely have an instant advantage on Midwesterners, but you know you’ve put the practice in to turn anyone’s fastball around in a hurry. You don't always have to fear the beard.

5. You live in indoor practice facilities in the winter.

We all know the place. There’s a practice facility somewhere in town that’s usually in some old dimly lit warehouse building that isn’t much warmer than it is outside. There are a few tunnels and maybe a couple of pitching machines. There are those weird wedge-shaped portable pitching mounds that never stay in one place for more than ten pitches, and if you’re lucky, there is an area just quite big enough to take some grounders in. Unfortunately, the ground is covered in turf that is usually harder than concrete, will give you a nasty floor burn and is nothing more than a large, glorified version of the mat you hit golf balls off of.

6. Jugs machines are medieval death traps.

Okay, so maybe this one isn’t exclusive to the Midwest, but everyone who has used one of these tripod terrorizers knows that the pitch is just as likely to hit your teammate standing on deck as it is to end up in the strike zone. Make sure your helmet is on tight, and don’t get too comfortable in the box because this thing isn’t afraid to throw some chin music.

7. The work you put in when it’s cold determines how you play when its warm.

It definitely gets a little tedious practicing inside all the time. There’s only so much you can do during a snow-filled Midwestern winter, but you know if you push through it, good things will happen. Don’t let yourself coast through the cold months, so when the sun makes its return you can finally watch your cage bombs turn into shots over the scoreboard.

8. It can be just as hot where you live as it is anywhere else.

You might travel for a tournament in Georgia one weekend and play in weather that would make the devil sweat, but when you go to a local tournament two weeks later it’s somehow just as hot. Why do we get negative 12 degrees and 101 degrees in the same calendar year?

9. The memories you make can’t be replaced.

It doesn’t matter if you play every game or never see the field, you’ll make friends that will be with you forever and have experiences you’ll never forget. When you finally decide to hang up your cleats, you’ll be able to look back and smile at everything the game gave you.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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