I officially retired from playing beer-league softball in 2002. I wrote the following tongue-in-cheek press release to announce my retirement from the game I loved. If I had a blog in 2002, I'd have posted this letter then, but, since this blog started in 2004, and, since I just came across the release again as I was culling through some old files, I'm posting it now for your amusement.
Fighting back tears as he reflected on a softball career that included virtually no notable personal accomplishments, Marty Weil announced his retirement from beer league softball.
"It was a long, painstaking decision for Marty Weil," said the retiring outfielder. "I couldn't find anyone—past players, present players, family members, or close friends—who cared to see me play. Maybe my decision would have been different if there had been someone I could have turned to."
"It wasn't an easy decision because an athlete can always look in the mirror and say, 'OK, I can still play,'" Weil said during a sparsely attended news conference at his home. "Deep down inside, probably I thought I still could. But why not go out while I'm still mediocre. I remember the words of a former teammate who said, 'You're not seriously considering playing Marty in the outfield during the playoffs.' It is memories like these that I'll look back on and remember most fondly."
Weil said the beer league will do fine without him. "I think the game itself is a lot bigger than Marty Weil."
He referred to himself in the third person at least a dozen times, always when discussing his lackluster softball ability and his total anonymity. He said he wanted to watch his kids (he has none) play basketball, and he wanted to take them to school in the morning. He hadn't had a chance to do enough normal things like that because his Wednesday nights during the summer were so busy, he said sobbing.
"Thanks to my teammates and my coaches, and the support of many other people, my softball dreams have come true."