Monday, 16 July 2012

Going Home

So my European adventure has come to an abrupt end. I injured myself in an off field incident that will require surgery. It was decided by team officials and my mum that I would travel back to Sydney to have the surgery and do my rehab in the comfort of my own home.

Now to the embarrassing explanation of how this injury occurred. I usually take good care of myself off the field but this was just a big accident and a freak injury. I was playing basketball with Luke Wilkins who traveled from Belgium for the week, and I decided to jump and grab the rim, something I have done over a hundred times before. Only thing is this time when I grabbed the rim my hand slipped and I fell to the floor. I tried to brace the fall with my left arm but the impact was too much and it caused my elbow to dislocate. Luckily I had Luke there to help and he kept calm and was able to call people from the my team to come help.

I remained on the floor on the basketball court while help arrived and once they got there it took a while for me to find my feet and be able to walk properly. Up until this point in my life I had never broken a bone, fractured or dislocated anything so everything was a bit scary to me. As I started to walk I felt like I was going to pass out but with the help of others I was able to get in the car. Once I got in we went straight to the hospital.

I haven't had many experiences with hospitals but all I remember is in Sydney hospitals having to spend hours waiting to see a doctor. This wasn't the case here as I went straight into a room, was quickly assessed, given medication, had an x-ray and got a cast put on all in under two hours. I don't remember too much from my time at the hospital. I don't even remember having my elbow put back into place. All I do know is that the x-ray also revealed I had also fractured the elbow in three places which meant I was going to need surgery.

As bad as I felt for myself at the time, I felt even worse for my team that I am leaving. Even though I have only been here for six weeks I have made some awesome new friends and it hurts that I won't be here to play alongside them once the playoffs begin next week. Everyone here has made me feel welcome and comfortable during my time here and I'm truly grateful for their hospitality.

So over the next few months I will have to get myself healthy again, prepare for the Australian Baseball League season, and once that ends, hopefully I'll find myself back here in Holland playing for Kinheim because I have some unfinished business to take care of.

Sad panda. Picture taken just after I got back from the hospital.
PS - if you want to see a picture of my dislocated elbow, comment on this post. 

Monday, 2 July 2012

Dontrelle Willis Announces Retirement

Now you're probably all wondering why I would want to write about Dontrelle Willis. Yes, his career was plagued by inconsistency after his early years in Florida but that's not how I will remember him. I will remember him as the fun loving guy who always had a smile on his face and a hat that wasn't worn quite straight. I'll remember the 22 games he won in 2005 and in the same year became the first pitcher in 32 years to bat 7th in the hitting lineup. I'll also never forget the two home runs he hit against the Mets in September of 2006 to go along with the 8 innings he threw that night.

I have modelled my game around the way that Dontrelle played. I played each game like it was my last. Leaving everything out on the field and having fun while doing it. Many people, especially many of my Blue Sox teammates would be used to my signature "smile while poking the tongue out face" I make while on the mound was something I would do when I felt like I stuffed up or got away with a mistake. Even though I'm in the heat of the moment, I still find a lighter side in everything. Something I always enjoyed seeing Dontrelle do. The way he would slide head first into 3rd base while running out a triple is exactly the way I would do it. Even though the coach wouldn't approve of his pitcher sliding into base, it didn't stop him from playing hard. Playing the game it was meant to be played, just like you're a little leaguer playing on the sandlot with your friends.

One day I even decided I'm going to start pitching like Dontrelle Willis. I wore high socks, I had a high leg kick, twisted my body, hands were raised above my head and I threw across my body. People asked me why I did that and I simply told them, because it's what the D-Train does. That's when I received the nicknames T-Train and VanTrelle. I had that pitching action for five years. I even wore number 35 because of him, then changed to 21 when he moved to Detroit.

I'm definitely going to miss him and the way he played the game, but wish him the best in retirement. He is truly my favourite player of all time, no one else will understand why except me.

@D_Train35 retweeting one of my tweets
My game use Dontrelle Willis bat

@D_Train35 replying to one of my tweets