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John P Mulgrew wrote:
Many of these fields are being built like prison yards, everything so tight and fenced in. Most here know I'm in a wheelchair and last year I was shooting a 12U softball game at a field that I always shoot at and sat at the end of the dugout with part of my feet on the ground just a few inches outside the dugout and I would bend my head around the fence and shoot batters. Well the teams were still warming up and the ump yelled at me, he freaking yelled at me and told me that...Show more →
John, sorry to hear you were hassled. Most of the guys around here are pretty laid back, but occasionally someone has a bad day. In one case where they were touchy before the game, they finally thawed and explained that the fellow who was behind the plate had just come back after an injury - the ball had somehow gotten under his throat protector and hit him straight on. He was still having trouble talking. As a ball magnet who has been hit several times, I understand their concern about safety.
You're absolutely right about it getting tighter and tighter. One of the high school fields here now has a 25 foot (at least) fence around it and the only spot we can shoot from is the opening from dugout to field. The dugout is also fenced. No more shooting from the field. I guess the county got tired of paying for dents in cars and didn't want to have to pay for injured spectators/photographers, too. The more they enclose these small urban fields, the more we are left out in the open - usually just back of the foul line. On one of these tight fields this spring, when chalking off a spot for me, the softball official told me that I couldn't take anything in with me, so that "if the ball missed me, it would still be in play." I would have to come off the field to change lenses, and no more using my roller bag as body shield. First hit of the game went foul, clipped the fence, ricocheted off my shoulder, and smacked me in the face. Sigh.
I've seriously considered getting a helmet. "Softball" is an oxymoron.