What do you have to lose?

By on September 16, 2009

When I was waiting in the Hamden Walk-In Clinic to get a physical, I thought I was crazy. There was only one day left until the deadline to turn in medical forms and I was determined to try out for the Quinnipiac baseball team.

I shouldn’t have even had to go to Hamden for the physical in the first place because I had taken one over the summer. Unfortunately, my local hospital was not willing to fax the form needed, and it was too late to mail it.

I was not about to spend the rest of my life saying, “I could have played baseball in college if I had gotten a physical.”

It turned out to be well worth the wait at that clinic, even though my name did not appear on the list of players to continue tryouts. After waking up early for three grueling morning practices over Labor Day weekend and not making the team, I still felt that I had accomplished something.

I needed to find out if I was good enough to play an NCAA Division I sport. This is coming from a man who tried out for Quinnipiac’s golf team a year ago, and just missed making the team.

As the Head Sports Editor for The Quinnipiac Chronicle, I wasn’t even sure if I would have had time to play for the baseball team. Still, at the very least, I had to try out.

At least two times a week after my summer baseball season ended in early August, I played catch with a friend to keep my throwing arm loose – a physical attribute any pitcher, like me, must do.

I was ready to go the day tryouts came. When tryouts ended, I had left everything I had to offer on the field. No excuses.

Not seeing my name on the list hurt a lot. As I knew, my baseball career was over. I had played baseball since I was old enough to walk – and even talk. My first word as a baby was “ball.”

After nearly shedding a tear on the phone with my dad, it hit me that trying out was the best, and only thing I could do. That is all anyone can ask from me. Now, I have no regrets.

I even found a few benefits from trying out. I received an e-mail from a fellow rejected player asking if he could get involved with the sports section on The Chronicle. I was delighted to see more interest in the section of the newspaper, but especially happy since this was the man who caught both of my two innings pitched during tryouts.

I met several other guys who loved baseball during tryouts who I can now call friends. A man who was in my history class last year, a man I warmed up with, who also pitched, and a man who didn’t get his physical handed in on time. None of them made the team, but I bet none regretted trying out.

College is short. I’m already a sophomore and I don’t know what I am going to do with my life. I’m just a guy who loves baseball, and couldn’t stop myself from trying out.

Quinnipiac athletics is an excellent program filled with terrific coaches, and possible teammates who could become lifelong friends.

Even if you don’t have time to play a Division I sport, or if you don’t have a physical ready to hand to your coach, nothing should stop you from following your passion, or your dreams of playing a sport.

What do you have to lose?

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About Lenny Neslin

Editor-in-Chief
Email: editor@quchronicle.com
Twitter: @lsneslin
Year: 2012
Major: Print journalism
Hometown: Hanover, N.H.
Dream Job: Sports Illustrated Writer