Playing for the pile

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 1, 2016

One of the mottos that we used have on the American Legion baseball team I use to play for was “Play for the pile.”

Watching Coastal Carolina blaze through the College World Series has got me reminiscing about that.

The joy and excitement of piling on top of the mound or wherever on the field is exhilarating and unlike anything else.

It’s a culmination of hard work, be it for a tournament championship, season championship or a state championship.

We got to experience the pile on a few occasions. That first season that we started playing American Legion baseball, we won several tournaments, but came up short at state.

The next year, after I graduated high school, I got to watch my brother Michael and former teammates win the state championship and that was a fun moment for me as well. Even though I was no longer a playing member of the team, I still felt to be a part of it.

Winning, of course, isn’t everything, but it sure makes it a heck of lot more fun when you do.

There was also another motto or maybe nickname for that first American League Post 80 team, but I don’t know that this would be the proper place to actually say what that other one was.

Those days of  “Playing for the pile” are now over for me (I would probably break, tear or pull something if I tried that now), but it’s still a lot of fun to think about.

Some of my best baseball experiences came from those two summers with coach Steve Helms.