Me swinging a bat – and a story

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Me swinging a bat – and a story

WINTER BIRDS OF SWEDEN posted a video:

Me swinging a bat - and a story

A very short little ”film” made with some really low quality material that I found in my computer.

One of my baseball stories (if somebody would ever ask, or care) is that I have game 7, 9th inning hitting experience. I played with Gefle Baseball Club 1998-2003, in Div. 1 (northern league), which is the league under the Swedish Elitserien. In 2002 we started to co-operate with the Swedish champions Rättvik Butchers. Me, and two others from Gefle, played with Rättvik every now and then during the 2002 season.

Rättvik made it to the finals again, to play against Sundbyberg.
In the top of the 9th inning of game 7, in a 4-2 lead and with runners on 1st and 3rd (1 out) the coach put me into the game to hit and then to play left field.
The first pitch was an inside ball. On the second pitch I hit a ground ball to a diving shortstop who just threw me out! The runner on third did not go. The runner on first made it to second base.
Ever so close! (They say a was a fast runner…)

No more runs scored and the coach asked me how I felt about playing left field. (In this kind of situation) I told him that if he had somebody else, that would be okay with me. I did not feel like a true member of this club (only playing with them a few times) and I did not know the other players very well. I didn’t wanna take that risk turning this great moment into some kind of nightmare. Or as they say: Man or mouse!
Anyhow, coach took me out of the ballgame.

Sundbyberg did not score any more runs and we won the game!

Me, and the other two players from Gefle (J. Andersson, T. Jansson) who also participated in these games, were the first Gefle players to become Swedish champions.

After six seasons with Gefle I decided to move to Stockholm, mostly because I was looking for a new job (work, not baseball). I also contacted Alby Stars baseball club. Alby had lost many of their best players to other clubs, after becoming champions in year 2000.

The 2004 season was my first and only full season to play the Swedish Elitserien.
I hit .298 with a .389 on-base %, with a total of 67 at bats (it’s Sweden – and I was suspended the first six games because of a late-transfer rule, so there is a chance reaching at least 100 at bats if you play most of the games).
With that I was voted Alby Stars’ most valuable player 2004, by Alby Stars baseball club. Thank you Alby, that was very kind of you!

(After finishing last, we had to play qualification games against the winner of Div. 1. As I remember it we won that series, but the club made a decision to take a step down to play Div. 1 the next season because of a not so good situation.)

Alby returned to the Elitserien 2006.

That season, in the third game, I got major groin problems, playing outfield. Both sides. It made running almost impossible. The day after I could not even walk normally and I almost had to stay at home from work.
I decided to take a time out from baseball to rest my legs, but those groin problems did not go away by itself.
I had those problems for years and did not return to baseball after that.

I was not a home run hitter, but I hit two home runs during my years with Gefle so at least I know how it feels… I played almost every game (mostly as the leadoff hitter, or second in the order) and I raised my batting average every season, from .205 in 1998 to .443 in 2003.
And I loved every minute of it!

Left field and center field were my favourite positions, but I did also play second base.

This little film is just me hitting at a batting range in Galveston, Texas. (Me and a friend of mine drove by this batting range on a 10-day vacation in Texas 2007.)

In Swedish:

Slaggenomsnittet visar hur ofta man slår sig ut på bas:
(1.000 = 100%) .300 = 30% (Man säger "tre hundra" bara.)
De flesta slagmän i Major League slår mellan .250 och .350.

On-base % visar hur ofta man tar sig ut på bas, alla sätt inräknade.
Det vanligaste (förutom att slå) är att man får gå ut efter att pitchern missat fyra kast (förutsatt att man inte svingar – en sving är alltid en strike).
3 strikes = bränd, 4 balls = walk

(Pitchern försöker placera sina kast vid utkanterna av strike-zonen – slagmannen vill såklart helst ha någonting mitt i strike-zonen.
En tålmodig slagman väntar på någonting bra att slå på och kan därför ta en eller två strikes innan han svingar.)

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