A perilous moment in Round Rock, Texas

It’s not often that opportunity comes whizzing by your head, but on one mild spring night in Texas, it came perilously close to put a hurtin’ on my noggin.

Round Rock Express baseball
Turn the phone off and enjoy America’s pasttime.

Sitting behind home plate, where a net protects spectators from a speedy foul ball, gives one a false sense of security. On the third base line, you are on guard, always on alert for a foul ball. There’s no safety net; if a ball comes screaming towards the crowd, you better be ready to protect yourself.

On this gorgeous evening, the game was close, close enough where the umpire’s strike calls were front and center and LOUD. The sounds of the game: bat on ball, ball in glove, announcer over the loudspeaker hinted that hot summer days were near.

For some strange reason, I felt moved to check my mail on my smart phone. Honestly, baseball games move a little slow. Breezing through a few mails, I heard a crack on the bat, glanced up and saw a harmless foul drifting over my head out of play.

I returned to the digital world. Delete. Scroll. Read. Delete.

I then heard a loud scream from my wife: “Dan, look up! There’s a ball.”

What? Huh? How was there a ball coming when the foul ball floated over our heads out of play?

Round Rock Express’ baseball stadium in flat, dry Round Rock, Texas has a roof that oftentimes shuttles balls back into the seats that have seemingly flown out of the park.

I turned, looked upward and saw a ball coming towards my head. Without only a moment to react, I ducked, avoiding injury.  If the ball could talk, I would have hearing loss. The ball smacked into the seat in front of me and rolled down the aisle; an eight-year old picked up the souvenir between a half-eaten box of popcorn and a compressed, trampled funnel cake. My loss was his gain. But, hey, I got to check my e-mail?

Until next time,

Dan Naden

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