I retired from baseball around the time I hit middle school.
Steinbrenner wept that day, but oh what a glorious retirement it was - they even gave me a trophy.
You'll notice I didn't say 'I quit' because, as with everything, my parents mandated I finish the season. The reason for my retirement was two-fold:
1) While scooping up daisies with my mitt in centerfield was fun, I enjoyed other sports more.
2) The coaches stopped pitching and instead gave the ball to my peers.
If #2 doesn't seem like a big deal to you, my guess is you're right-handed.
I'm a leftie.
Understand at this stage of the game, young players are still learning to hone their skills. This goes doubly so for pitchers coming into their own. Curveballs, sliders, 'Heaters', - you name it. The gates have been opened to those anointed few. And while an average-sized, right-handed batter would watch an errant pitch, high and outside, whizz by and hear the umpire call "Ball!", that same pitch would be directed at my head.
Needless to say, I became very good at ducking.
But coaches don't like that.
They'd rather you take the hit and get on base.
"Hang in there, Galvin," they'd say. "Take one for the team."
Sometimes I did. More often I didn't. Eventually I learned the hard way that curveballs were the worst. For some reason, I could never quite tell when they were gonna break. Then BAM. Pain. Red flashes. And the umpire's, 'Take your base, son."
That doesn't mean my coaches were wrong.
Author. Actor. Rascal.