When I was in high school I knew a 70-year-old man who played fast-pitch softball on a reasonably competitive men’s city league. He was on a team for men age 45 and over but was by far the oldest on the team.
His name was Bill and he played center field, was among the top three or four hitters on the team and was a heck of a nice guy.
Fastpitch softball is a much different game than the leisurely soft-pitch version. In fast pitch, the pitcher throws the ball in a rapid underhand windmill motion which propels the ball at 55 mph or faster across home plate.
Strike-outs are common and so are hard hit line-drives. It’s as close as softball comes to actual hard-ball baseball.
Yeah, Bill at 70 years old hitting and fielding these hard thrown and hit balls, was quite something to see. But this isn’t the most impressive thing about Bill.
The most impressive thing about Bill was that he had only one arm. His left arm. His right arm ended at the elbow.
“He swung his bat with just his one arm and, as I mentioned, was a hell of a hitter. “
He swung his bat with just his one arm and, as I mentioned, was a hell of a hitter. His quick, one-armed swing would drive the ball hard and fast just over the heads of the infielders into the left-center field while his 70-year-old legs dashed him to first base, sometimes even second.
Obviously, pitchers first felt pity for him when his skinny one-armed frame ambled up to the plate.
But in the end, it was Bill who pitied the pitcher after getting hit after hit. By the end of the season the novelty of a one-armed 70-year-old player had mostly worn off and the opposing teams went after Bill with all they had.
Bill usually had the upper hand – no pun intended.
Bill held his own on defense as well. Watching him field a ball was a show in and of itself.
He’d scoop up the ball with his glove, toss the ball up in the air to himself and in one swift motion tuck his glove beneath his right nub, pull the glove off, catch the ball in his now bare hand and fire it off to the second base.
The look on the face of the runner, when he realized that he’d just been thrown out by a one-armed 70-year-old man, was nothing short of baffling astonishment. Bill was a hell of a ballplayer.
I decided to tell you about Bill because I have nothing nice to say about the Fantiny Hong flip flop; which is the assigned subject of today’s review.
But, for reasons that will become abundantly clear to you should you find yourself saddled with a pair of these poorly made, ill-fitting and oddly designed and marketed flip flops, I’d rather talk about 70-year-old one armed Bill the fast pitch softball player.
After all, as my Grandmother taught me, if you can’t say something nice then say nothing at all.