Way Out in Left Field

For the most part, camp was a wonderful experience for me. I loved it. Something new seemed to happen almost every day. I was even awed by the hidden breakfast. Well, the first time, anyway.

But I did have the misfortune of being a non-sports-oriented member of one of the most baseball intensive groups in the history of the camp, the "Motleys". Don't get me wrong. It was a wonderful group of nice people among whom I had many good friends. But all they wanted to do was play softball, morning after morning after morning, and I was terrible at softball. I had never played sports before camp, and I was not at all sports oriented.

So I remember my mornings as being spent "Way Out in Left Field", as the saying goes, except of course I was actually Way Out in Right Field, because they put me wherever the ball was least likely to go. When a pop fly was on occasion hit my way, I had the arduous task of running over to approximately where it was going to land, and then trying to catch it while simultaneously attempting to avoid being right under it, because I might get hit by the ball and seriously hurt. This effort seldom resulted in a catch.

Being an analytic sort (I did later attend MIT, after all), I do recall standing in right field one day, relatively miserable, and attempting to calculate whether, in the final analysis, I really did like camp. I thought I liked camp, but we spent so much time playing baseball, during which time I was miserable, that I was wondering whether I actually spent more time miserable than happy. Perhaps I really hated camp, but didn't know it. But even if I added in a scaling factor for extreme miserableosity, the time spent on the baseball field still only came to a couple of hours a day, so I had to conclude in the end that I was really happy after all.

Of course, while I was engaged in that calculation, a ball could have landed on my head, and I wouldn't have noticed.

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