Mark Blehm

“It’s a round ball and a round bat, and you got to hit it square,” Pete Rose once said.

Hitting a baseball is one of the hardest things to do in sports. In what other sport can you be considered at the top of the game and succeed only 30% of the time?

Mark stands 6’3” and is full of muscles. Bearded and soft-spoken, Mark met me at CY Sports to spend some time in the batting cages. We shook hands and my hand was lost in his grip. He played outfield and pitched in the Grip ‘N’ Rip League last year so I was all ears, trying to soak in as much advice as possible.

“The crack of the bat, that sound…that is my favorite part of the game,” he said with a smile.

I successfully did not hit Mark once while throwing him batting practice. I heard that distinctive sound, that beautiful sound, the sound that embodies spring as he squared up multiple pitches and barreled balls back my direction.

Mark grew up playing baseball in Morrisville and loves the joy and thrill of competition.

Last March, playing basketball, he tore the UCL tendon in his thumb on his throwing hand. He had surgery in May and had to wait 6 weeks before he could move it. He worked hard at increasing the flexibility and strength in his thumb to be ready for August tryouts.

“Being able to compete again, being in a league like this and meeting so many great people, it’s really a special opportunity.”

Using a midnight blue M-14 demo bat from MacDougall Bats, I took my swings and didn’t embarrass myself too much. The bat felt as terrific as it looked and I worked up a steady stream of sweat taking swings.

T-minus 128 days to tryouts.

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