The Paw Print

Canfield travels country playing baseball

Christina Rufo, Staff Writer

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Photo by Kathy Kocak
Canfield is one of the younger players on her team, Hot Flashes.

Although many people think of Polly Canfield as a science teacher, one can find her on the baseball diamond during the spring and summer.

In the Summer of 2016, science teacher Polly Canfield recently joined a traveling softball team for people age 50 and up. Her team is called the Hot Flashes and is made up of a variety of people. Polly Canfield is one of the youngest players on the team, but her oldest teammate is 57.

Canfield played for a local recreational team for a while, but has recently switched to the more elite team, the “Hot Flashes”. She said, “The one word I would use to describe my decision is adventure, especially because nationals are always an opportunity to travel with friends.”
Her team travels around the country for nationals every other year and gives her an opportunity to visit different states. Last year they traveled to Birmingham, Alabama, and the next nationals will take place in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

She first began playing baseball as a child, but did not officially get to play until she was ten years old. Her hometown, Put in Bay, did not have an all girls team. Because she was so passionate about baseball, she played on the boys team until she turned ten.

Playing on the boys team pushed her to work hard. She said, “Playing on the team, I always felt I had something to prove.”

Canfield played softball all through high school and hasn’t stopped yet. She said, “I played a lot of sports during high school. It was something I was pretty good at, and it’s what made school fun for me.”

Canfield’s passion for baseball has never stopped. Melissa Spigutz, Canfield’s co-worker, said, “She is a really committed person, and doesn’t do anything halfway. She is all in and has trained for this.”

Being asked to join the team allowed Canfield to embark on a new adventure. Some people are inspired by others to play sports, but she said, “I don’t know if I was inspired, but the Hot Flashes team manager saw me play in my old summer team and asked me to join.”

At first she was concerned about the time commitment because the team travels so frequently, but she quickly became excited to join. The manager’s offer gave Canfield a chance to start a new adventure.

On the field, she plays left center, mainly because she believes she has a quick reaction,to backup other struggling players. Their dreaded rivals are The Canton Rockers because they are the only other team from Northeast Ohio. The Canton Rockers are a tough team to beat because they have higher ranking and more talented players.

Canfield’s batting average was .714 until she was injured with a concussion during last years nationals. She ran into another player trying to catch a ball and took a knee to the head, causing her to sit out. She said, “I don’t even remember the rest of the game.”

Spigutz believes Canfield keeps busy in many ways. Spigutz said, “It feels like she has always played a sport in the seven years I have known her. If it’s not running, it’s baseball, if it’s not baseball, then it is something else.”

Although Canfield is not in highschool anymore, she still gets a thrill from playing on the baseball diamond. Canfield said, “My favorite part about baseball is that It is the one thing I still get to do that brings out that competitive edge.”

The team brings a diverse group of people together. Canfield said, “There were people I didn’t know ahead of time that I got to meet and become friends with.”

She is scheduled to play in the upcoming season this April and is most excited about the three tournaments they will be playing in to qualify for the 2019 Nationals.

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Canfield travels country playing baseball