Having wet dreams about Derek Jeter? Play intramural softball
by Jack Archambault
To say that I’ve been on some bad teams in my life is an understatement. Aside from an unprecedented run of three straight undefeated seasons in elementary school rec soccer, my lifetime winning percentage in sports is probably somewhere around .350. When I got to college, I thought I’d make friends with kids who are great at sports. I would taste intramural glory, and my cup would runneth over with the spoils of victory. Instead, I joined the paper, Pep Band, and the intramural part … let’s just say has gone in a different direction.
Oh, I still play. Do you really think I’d pass up the opportunity to play a loosely organized game of softball at 11 PM on a freezing-cold Tuesday night in October while my classmates drunkenly scream obscenities at each other? If so, you definitely don’t know me.
I’ve played intramural softball every year of college. I can’t remember a single thing about most of those teams other than that we probably went oh-and-five. This year looks to be no different. But somehow, I’ve never been on a team quite like this.
It’s not so much that we’re bad – we’ve actually been close in all of our losses – it’s more that we’re a dysfunctional, highly entertaining disaster. We’re the Bad News Bears, only if the Bears never got Amanda Whurlitzer and Kelly Leak to play on their team and Coach Buttermaker decided it would be a good idea to invite 18 people to join the team and bat all of the best players last. That’s where the story of The Ma Platters begins.
First, a note on the team name. It pays homage to The Ma Platter, a special at Rams Deli named after our catcher, Brian Ma. It consists of chicken over rice with white sauce, hot sauce, waffle fries, and fried eggs. Because who hasn’t thought, “Y’know what would go great with this halal chicken? Eggs.”
The Ma Platters are a softball team only in the most literal sense. As outfielder Dom Gagliostro, GSB ’20, puts it, “We aren’t a softball team. We are a reality show that plays softball.”
To begin, let’s go back to the first game of the season, when the team captain, Joe “Buttermaker” Scalisi, FCRH ’20, invited 18 people to join the team. In case you’re unfamiliar with the rules of intramural softball, only 10 people can play at a time. All 18, however, have to bat. That’s a lot of people, and when 11 of the 18 can’t hit the ball past the pitcher’s mound (and when Patrick insists on batting fourth), let’s just say we’ve had trouble scoring runs.
Speaking of Patrick, one of Coach Joe’s rules is that he is not allowed to invite any friends to the games. That was enacted after one of Patrick’s friends got lost the first time he went out two weeks ago. I was awakened at 6 A.M. on a Saturday by a loud banging on the front door of our apartment and four missed calls from Patrick, who told me that his friend was missing. I went downstairs to find that the people banging on the door were two police officers who were looking for the lost boy, who we’ll call Marco.
“Do you live here?” one asked me.
“Do you know a kid named Marco?”
“Not well, but my friend just told me he’s missing.”
“Can we look around and see if he’s here?”
I motioned for them to come inside. They banged on the locked door of one of my roommates for five minutes. Finally, who should open the door? That’s right, Marco, who was promptly escorted home by the police.
Anyways, until Patrick and his friends stop calling the cops on each other, they’re all banned from softball.
To add to this, there is palpable sexual tension between our starting left fielder and our backup right fielder. Would the 2018 Red Sox have won 108 games and the World Series if Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi had been making eyes at each other from across the outfield? I think it might have thrown the team chemistry off a little bit. It’s tough to contend for a title in softball when the bat is the second-hardest thing on the field.
By my count, Joe has kicked off and subsequently reinstated three people on the team. Dom and I told Joe he’d have to make some cuts when 18 people showed up to the first game, but I certainly didn’t think he’d take the suggestion so seriously.
With three games left in the season, time is running out for The Ma Platters to turn the season around and get back in the hunt for a playoff spot. But let’s be honest, at this point I think everyone is more interested in whether the left and right fielders ever get together.