As slow-pitch softball players go, Christian James doesn’t appear to break any stereotypes. He’s around the age of 30, sports a clean goatee, lives in an exurban area, and appears to take the sport way, way too seriously. We don’t know if he enjoys Busch Light, but… we wouldn’t doubt it.
For what’s believed to be the very first time in recorded history*, however, James has decided to use the power of slow-pitch softball for a noble cause, setting up a most unusual exhibition in the home of the Chicago Cubs’ AAA affiliate in Des Moines yesterday and today. He decided the best way to combat colo-rectal cancer would be, as the DES MOINES REGISTER reports, to hit softballs. For 24 hours. 5000 times. Yeah.
With every ball hit, James will be raising money for the fight against colorectal cancer, one of the most common cancers in the United States and the second-leading cause of cancer deaths.
James, who works in the radiology department as a PACS (Picture Archiving and Communicating Systems) administrator for Iowa Health-Des Moines, had an epiphany on an airplane.
Realizing he had a passion for hitting and a passion for helping people, he dreamed up a non-profit organization called Helping Hits that would marry the two.
This, we’d like to point out, is an extraordinarily inartful sentence, since one could reasonably interpret it as saying he has a passion for both hitting and helping people, which seems both counterproductive and psychopathic. No, he enjoys hitting softballs. That needs to be made clear.
And so he set out to do exactly that, though his choice of dates turned out to be unfortunate, as today’s the hottest day of the year for Des Moines; the area spent the better part of the day under a heat advisory with the heat index holding steady around 105 degrees. There’s no real way to see that coming, of course, though in the future, if he chooses to undertake this again, he might want to be more than one day away from the longest day of the year.
But James may have unwittingly revealed the most shocking case of patient abuse this nation has ever seen while he was justifying his strange (but good-hearted) endeavor to KCCI:
He started hitting balls and promised not to stop until he his 5,000th ball in a 24-hour period.
“I can go through this, cancer patients go through this a lot worse so I can go through a little bit of pain,” said James.
So if we’re hearing him correctly, cancer patients have to hit a lot more than 5,000 softballs in 24 hours? Who’s putting those poor people up to this?! Most of them are old and frail! That doesn’t even have any medical benefit, it’s just outright abuse! Someone needs to put a stop to it. Preferably by playing kickball for 24 straight hours.
*This is not an exaggeration.