Few legends on the kickball diamond are more bragged about, less confirmed and lesser still seen. It’s the mythological gunning down of a runner from Third Base to first for the force play.
When a kickball team makes an assessment of where it needs to do some housekeeping, this tends to be the final piece to a perennially unfinished puzzle. One of the reasons is the traditional role of the third baseman. The job primarily is to run down errant bunts with enough time to bee sting them in the back of the skull, allowing the run to take his base, but warning him that if he values his family, he won’t pull that bullshit again.
For a ball to make it to him with enough time to allow for a chance at the throw, one of the following three things would have to occur:
1. An aborted bunt. This is generally the “putt” that should have drained a hole somewhere between the mound and the foul line, halfway between the third and the catcher. These people are generally the reason bunts are frowned upon. If you’re leading off more power to you, as I’ve said the throws almost impossible, but chances are you’re an ass and just sacrificed your lead runner, potentially turning a double play. Slick move asshole.
2. This was supposed to be a foul. It’s a late game inning 12 and it’s the only pitcher they have. Like every smart kickballer you’re loading up the count and giving the pitcher rotator cuff muscular degeneration so that he bowls them over the plate like he’s Norm Duke for the rest of the season. Instead you launch one right to third and all the walks you’ve accumulated prior are likely lost in a similar situation seen above. Who brought this guy?
3. You went for the frozen rope. Seriously, you went for the opposing field and ended up getting it to third? You’re either drunk or kicked it with the wrong foot. You ought to be laughed off the diamond, and you’re not to be allowed to forget it. Fail.
But lets say our glorious Anti-hero manages to achieve one of these points of brilliance. He’s got a who battery of physics laws on his side that will pull him from the jaws of alcoholism and thrust him into the bungling hero role of every Brendan Frasier film.
In order for a third baseman to make this play a few things would have had to happen in order for the concoction to be viable. (I love lists)
1. He was sleeping on the job. If you were coming off the line like you were coming out of starting blocks you’d have taken this one in the teeth and the runner would be on second by the time they’d given you the salt tabs. Thanks for being lazy but hey, you’re setting your self up for the kickball Valhalla so I can’t discredit you too much.
2. You have to have a trajectory of a 45 degree thrust behind a standard 15 foot distance. Because the kickball field is played outside of a vacuum and with gravity factored in, my math might be off and I cannot be held accountable. Basically the force required to do this exceeds of funding by which to purchase steroids. Also, we heard the Blue Team demands piss tests every time their defeated. This is not specific to a team, its every team with blue shirts. Their inherently jerks and sore losers. While blue is not the catalyst for this factor, WAKA officials do some preliminary work and assign blue to the team most likely to follow suit so that insiders know when they have to lay off the juice.
3. IF #2 was difficult, #3 might be the cosmic congruence one needs to make the entire project possible. The first baseman must be several things (sublist!):
a. The little train that could. They don’t only believe this shit could happen, it will happen.
b. Golden Glove. Given the force required to get the damn thing there, your first baseman is going to need paws of carbonized steel to grab it. Being that the league is in Boston, this usually garners the First Baseman with the nickname “lobster claws” for the subsequent game or until he drops one of these throws. You can’t make this stuff up folks. Its truth.
c. Must have like-minded Q-waves. There must exist a telepathy between the corners that would allow for such a mathematically improbable set of circumstances to come together like the Beatles in ’69.
This brings us to the Lore behind this throw. Much like El Dorado and the hammer of Thor, the making of/and being witness to this throw is buried is hyperbolic legends of our Kickball ancestry. Not to get all AED on you but the first known origin of the throw is documented in the 1664 novel A Midafternoon Occurrence in which one of the characters, Phineus Sanders “threw with such a mighty toss that all those standing about the chalk line would have their moustaches curl from the breeze.” The origin of “lobster claws” and the acclaim given to the first baseman are not known but are believed to be much later in the public lexicon.
The throw today still exists and a “series of unfortunate events” and is written into the third basemans job contract many times as a tongue in cheek requirement or utilized as a fluffed up reason to put otherwise poor fielders on the bench. (Sorry, we need someone out there who can make the throw to first). The legend carries on and is the single most championed line by drunkards and charlatans alike, leading to the creation and retort of “if he can make the hot corner throw, I can shit unicorns”
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