Breaking My Thumb

This isn’t so much of a day, but rather more of a moment. There are a number of moments I thought about writing about. 


- The time I got a black eye.  

- The time I left for college. 

- The time I got married.  


But I think I’m going to keep it light today. I think. 


What follows is a short recollection of the time I broke my thumb.


The year is 1989. I am 7 years of age and playing in my first season of little league baseball. I am absolutely terrible. I know so little about the game of baseball I probably have no business trying to play it organized. I didn't know the positions. I didn't know how many people are on a team. The game simply made no sense to me. But, I suppose that's what little league is for. It's a place to learn the game.

So, like I said, I am terrible at the game. I'm lucky to make contact when I'm at the plate. I don't even know if I got a hit all season. This this story is not a recap of my first season of baseball. But instead this story takes place during practice one late afternoon on the diamond.

We're practicing on an all dirt infield and a patchy grass outfield. Windy and overcast day in the Bay Area. It's a small sized ball field for 7 and 8 year olds, but I don't really recall the dimensions. I'm sure if I went there now it would be tiny. But at the age of 7 it didn't matter to me. I had no chance of ever hitting a home run. I'd be lucky to get it out of the infield.

It's my turn for some batting practice, however it's more like swinging and striking out practice for me. My teammate, Chris Thornberg (I think that's his name) is pitching to me in a practice game, and let me tell you, the kid threw some serious heat back then. Granted, he was only 7 or 8 years old at the time, but seriously, he had some zip on the ball.

Anyway, I'm up to bat, ready to take some cuts against my teammate. Little did I know, no cuts would be taken that day, instead, I would take a fastball to my right thumb! 


I don't remember the pain anymore, but surely it must have hurt. I'm thinking one of those throbbing pains that just don't go away. I recall a coach of mine telling me to take a seat on the bench as the rest of practice finished up, so I did what he said, probably crying alone to myself in pain. 

For some reason, my coach told me to sit on my hand (maybe to keep the swelling down or something) so I tried it. It did not work at all, and I would never recommend anyone try it. Pain. Pain. More Pain.

After this I don't really remember anything about this practice. I recall going to the doctor's office later in the week, getting an x-ray and a splint for my thumb.


The last thing I remember about this experience is feeling all cool because I had some tough looking bandages on my hand.

Silly first grader.

Andy RiddleComment