Baseball: A View from the Field


“Take me out to the ballgame, take me out with the crowd.”

It’s the time of year for America’s pastime, baseball, to begin, and the players at Hammonton High begin spending their afternoon around the baseball diamond. In this game, each position is unique, and the game experience varies from player to player.

This week, outfielder DJ Maimone and pitcher Mike Angeline,  describe the game from their perspectives.

Life in the Outfield: DJ Maimone

The count is 1-2 in the bottom of the 6th, tie game, with a man on third and right field hasn’t seen a ball all game. The only thoughts running through my head are what I will be eating after the game and…

Uh oh.

The batter hits a bomb to right field, and if I don’t catch this The Prep takes the lead. As I begin to track the ball I realize that it is not as far as I thought and I made the simple 3rd out of the inning.

The life of an outfielder can be as boring as watching grass grow or as exciting as watching playoff hockey. As a spectator it seems like all an outfielder does is just stand out there and wait for a ball to be hit.

Technically that is what an out fielder does but what separates a decent outfielder from a great out fielder is their positioning before the ball is hit and the route they take on the ball.

Whenever I am in the outfield, as boring as the game can get, I try to keep myself involved by trying to figure out where the ball will be hit and backing up infielders.

The real question is: What does an outfielder do when there is absolutely nothing coming his way? I can answer that very easily by saying: absolutely nothing. My mind can wander off and begin thinking of all kinds of things, mostly involving what I will be doing after the game. Then once in awhile I’ll snap back into the game and realize that it feels like I have been out in the field for 5 hours.

The only reason that standing in the outfield would be boring is if the pitcher can seem to find the strike zone.

Life on the Mound: Mike Angeline

Pitchers are a creature of habit. Many people question the athletic ability of a pitcher. These people don’t realize what goes on in a pitchers life off the field. Pitchers must stretch, run, and lift year round, while staying loyal to a throwing program for about 9 months out of the year.

The onfield portion of pitching is fairly difficult as well. You need to be strong physically and emotionally; you need the stamina and strength in just about every muscle in your body to throw as many pitches as you can.

The emotional aspect is huge, because you need to have s short term memory after an error in the field, a questionable call by the umpire, or a few hits by the opposing team, to forget about it and not let it effect your next batters.

Many people, like myself, only pitch. These players do a lot of sitting around during game time, waiting for their turn to take the mound. Although you get to enjoy the excitement of the game, you have to make sure you stay lose throughout the game, just incase you have to come in in a critical situation. Pitchers are a teams best friend, or worst enemy, because they have the most control over the outcome of the game. Being involved in every single pitch, they pitcher has the most pressure to perform at a high level to give his team the best chance to win the game.

Being a pitcher only, my seed game means a lot to me. I order about 30 bags of sunflower seeds off the internet, to chew on while I wait to come in the game. Being the go to guy for seeds on the team, I also have pressure on myself to come through for the team when seeds are needed. As the season progresses, I will do whatever it takes to keep seeds ready for myself and others, and to give my team the best chance to win the game, every time I step on that mound.