Fan Story: A Regular Joe Hangs Up The Cleats. Buddy Says Goodbye?

This is our first Fan Story, courtesy of David R. Diaz, Aka Buddy.

HARLEM, NY  – I’m 37 years old and I officially retire from sports. I played baseball until high school level and some A-ball but never went farther than that – with most of that time on the Harlem Shaskys. I played football but not the football you know; but the football you play recreationally. As big as football is, I believe there are leagues for that, too. 

Harlem Shaskys
David “Buddy” Diaz… bottom left.

Since I played sports my whole life, what I remember most about my youth is… sports. It was my passion, I was driven to be good, even great. I loved everything about it; the winning, the losing. Especially the winning! It hurt to lose but it hurt more not to play, so you knew that always hung-over the balance. All you wanted was to play and hope you made a difference. 

I remember the first day I knew I wasn’t the best player on the team. It hurt but not like a regular hurt – it felt like no one loved me anymore. I was young and I’m now thankful for that because it helped a lot in my life. We all know that feeling can come up a lot. 

That’s not to say that I wasn’t good. I was. I played my best when it seemed that the odds were against me. First off, I was never big or the strongest but I could hit. I played my best in the playoffs. I hit for average and decent power for a lead off and second batter. I loved the fastball, the faster the better. In the playoffs you play the best of your competition and no matter how scared I was, I played better. 

My football career was something different. I never felt like I helped even when I did. I was proud of what I contributed but I never felt like I belonged. I always felt like I could do so much more and I retired from that very easily. No sour grapes though, because there were championships with people I love but I never felt apart of it, not like I did with baseball. Maybe it’s me or maybe it’s just sports.

Father Time I remember when waking up for sports didn’t hurt, didn’t bother me. I remember when I woke up for a game and it was all I thought about. Those days have unfortunately passed.

Buddy David R Diaz Harlem Shaskys

I retire from sports but I don’t retire my love of sports. I will always be ready to play. I will always try to produce, whether it’s hitting, fielding, receiving and covering. It’s in my nature and I retire knowing that I will always play again!

This is Buddy… AKA  David R. Diaz… signing off. 

Please accept my apology; the intention was to write about sports, not about me.

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