Six years ago, I had met many of you for the first time. Having played baseball for over ten years, I wasn’t sure how to approach this sport. I knew I wanted to be involved and that was the extent. Year after year, one girl or another was replaced and some were easy to accept and others were felt as their emptiness left a teenage size hole.
Throughout each season, players got to know each other better, trust each other more and speak their minds openly. Familiar faces from the dugout as well as the visitor’s side became more frequent and the fans became family. Coaches became brothers, players became sisters and no different color of jersey would change that.
This is a landmark season for me. It is my last. I have been toward the back of the dugout every year, but I’ve been able to see the most from there. I see how bright and funny each player can be, the determination they bring and their frustrations play out as a weapon against themselves rather than others. And with each meeting, I realize what I’ll miss.
I will miss hearing the laughter from the benches. I will miss the moments that take my breath away during games and even the ones that make my blood boil. I will miss watching each player get better and better. I will miss seeing the face of each girl that I consider my softball daughter and being there for them as their happiness radiates hotter than the July sun. I will miss the Adrenaline.
You all hold a place in my heart whether you were there for a moment or a third of your life. As time rolls on like the wheel it is, many of you will forget about the coaches and in some regards each other. But I hope if you have children of your own one day and they want to play the game or any game, you will reflect on this year as one of the best. Because this was the year you got to share time with so many sisters you never wanted it to end.
I love you all. Adrenaline now. Adrenaline forever.