One more thing about knowing when it's time to retire from sports----recreational sports---onthe weekend.
Most guys who grow up in Chicago have played 16 softball--no gloves---as long as they can remember. And keep playing as long as they can.
Around here it's more than just a game. It's a religion, away of life, the prime male social activity of summer. It's also why so many Chicago men have what we call "softball fingers," crooked from countless breaks and sprains thanks to that rock hard clincher.
It's just a part of the game that you deal with when those injuries happen to you while playing the game as a kid, or young adult. But at some point in your life, if you keep playing it, something will happen to make you think the unthinkable: maybe it's time to finally give up the last link to the favorite activity of your youth.
Like when the doctor says, you've got a fracture and you may need surgery. He also reminded me that Chicago's bare-hand 16 softball games keep orthopedic clinics in business. He told me that at one suburban hospital,almost three percent of all summertime emergency room visits were softball injuries. Should I have one of those press conferences like the ones where the veteran athlete breaks down in tears saying goodbye to the sport they loved? At least if that was to be my last play, like Kerry Wood, I can go out on a high. Caught the ball and threw the batter out.
But now, all I can say is --tennis anyone?
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