I don’t know why, but I’ve been dying to go to the batting cages for quite some time. It’s not a favorite pastime of mine and I think the last time I held a bat was in high school. Last night seemed like a perfect night for that.
I had a couple of batting cage establishment options from which to choose. I could go to Golf ‘n’ Stuff, which is a super family friendly mini golf joint. Or, I could go to Home Plate, which is a crusty sports bar and grill that has been open since 1972. I naturally chose Home Plate.
I wasn’t so sure how my evening was going to go at first. I went into the place and started talking to the owner who was working behind the bar. I asked some general questions about the batting cages, how to pay, get set up, etc. Then, I mentioned I had been to a newer Home Plate location in town and loved their pickle fries. I asked if they had them at this location too and he seemed pretty offended.
He said the other location was owned by his business partner and that his partner hadn’t told him anything about Pickle Fries! I immediately felt like I had started a “War of the Roses” between these business partners over fried pickles. It felt weird. There were some people at the bar who were obviously regulars, and they seemed pretty irritated by this Whipper Snapper comin’ up in here asking about PICKLE FRIES! I quickly moved away from the conversation and ordered a beer and some food.
Ordering my beer seemed to have diffused the pickle fry bomb and the atmosphere started to feel more homie. I grew up going to bars that looked just like this with my Mom as a kid. Everything is dark and a little sticky. This was actually quite a family friendly place because of the batting cages though. The bartender was very sweet and I had a nice chat with one of the regulars sitting next to me, until I finished my chili and had to get down to BUSINESS at bat.
I felt myself starting to worry about getting out there and not hitting anything. This was so silly. I wasn’t winning or losing any games out there, so what did I care?! Then, I started to have visions of one of those balls hitting my head…I was being ridiculous.
I hauled myself outside and grabbed the closest available cage. I picked out the most decent bat I could find, put on my helmet and got to work. I started to actually make contact with the balls after about 3 rounds (36 balls). I hit most of the final 24 pitches, but wished I wasn’t because it was really painful. 😂 The bat that I had was not dampening ANY of the impact, and by the time I finished, my hands hurt like hell. I realized after I left the cage that the different cages have a variety of pitching speeds. Some are Softball and some are Baseball. I had waltzed into the Jenny Finch Fast Pitch Softball cage. 😂
Ouch! My paws are still tender today. I noticed that the regulars out in the cages bring their own bats. If I decide this is something I’m going to do for fun on occasion, I will definitely pick up a nicer bat. The sore hands were worth it. I had a fun time after Pickle Gate was over. There weren’t any super introspective revelations out of this date, except that I’m getting much more comfortable going out by myself now, I can end a conflict as quickly as I step into one, and I CAN hit a Jenny Finch Fast Pitch Softball! Ha! I feel bad for not getting pictures of my batting cage…oh well!
6 Dates down, 44 to go!