Hearing the ping of the softball bat hitting a ball this week made me realize something.
It is spring.
I'm sorry March 20, but you mean nothing to me regarding when spring is here. I realized Tuesday evening, albeit it extremely chilly while I was at Perrysburg High School watching the Yellow Jackets girls varsity softball team face Columbus DeSales.
"Did you see the tag?" DeSales coach Julie Barber asked the first base umpire as she stepped on the to field of play.
There was frustrated coaches, strikeouts, and sunflower seeds - sadly none for me - which meant one thing to me: spring.
I never knew spring as April showers and May flowers, like some folks. I grew up knowing spring from playing baseball throughout my life. Games in late March and early April games to make sure our school got a full season in before school let out for summer. Springs for me were filled with long sleeves, dirty-sweaty, curved ballcap lids, and sitting on buckets of seeds in a dugout as we batted.
Early spring meant pitching with fingers so cold you could barely grip the ball, or standing left field during long innings and the wind made you feel like a penguin on a glacier.
"We can not give them extra outs," Perrysburg coach Ryan DeMars said to his team in a huddle. I can't remember how many times we had coaches tell me that when I was young.
Those aren't bad memories though, it meant baseball/softball is back. It meant summer is near, and there are only a few weeks of the freezing baseball games until you had perfect blue skies and a summer breeze at your back in the batters box.
Standing outside the first base side fence Tuesday made me feel at home. It reminded me of where I came from, and it reminded me it is spring.