Each of my three years, I have made the conscious decision to not slide. Most of the over-50 players and probably two-thirds of the camp shares my concern about sliding. But for me, it's mostly because I have never slid on a baseball diamond. I was never taught the proper way to slide and sliding can result in some horrible injuries if you don't know what you are doing.
Head-first slides aren't allowed at Fantasy Camp, but you can dive back to a base head-first. I did that this year without even thinking during the Obstruction Play. Nice way to get your uniform dirty and look like an intense ball-player.
The next day, in our first tournament game, I was on second and attempted to steal third. The decision to steal may not have been the best but, because we weren't using signs, I thought my speed would be enough. It wasn't. I took off and looked to third which, all of a sudden, seemed a lot farther away that it was a few moments earlier.
As I came into third, I could see the third baseman reach up to grab a high throw from the catcher and, without a thought, I hit the dirt. I'm not saying that it was the best or even a proper slide, but it was a slide. I think my mindless decision was a little late, so even though I went down, it wasn't fast enough to slide under the tag. But I did slide, and I did pop-up when my lead foot hit the bag and I ended up standing on third – out, of course.
Tiny was coaching third, and I turned to him and proudly told him that that was the first slide of my life.
He was unimpressed, but it didn't matter to me! I was jazzed.