Author: Brian A.
Location: Hartford, Connecticut
Soccer may be the world’s most popular sport, but I grew up playing “America’s Pastime.” Starting from when I was a toddler swinging a plastic bat and continuing all the way through high school I never had a spring season without playing baseball. So at the start of my internship when I found out that Cigna had its own softball league, I was thrilled!
I was an intern in Cigna's AEDP during the summer of 2012. Every year, a team affectionately called the “Sacrifice Flies” is created for the interns to play on. The league generally has about seven other teams, including one for the AEDP full-timers. We all compete on the fields next to the picnic grounds right behind our Bloomfield office. I’ll caution that for the first few games involving the interns the word “compete” is very loosely defined.
The 2012 Connecticut intern class prides itself on being not only the best AEDP class of all time (in my humble opinion), but also the most successful Sacrifice Flies team in Cigna's history. It wasn’t obvious at the beginning though. We started out as a crew of 20 actuaries, only 4 of whom had ever played baseball or softball before. It definitely came in handy that my roommate, Ben, also played baseball throughout high school and had an alter ego as a Division I college athlete. But for the majority of the team, it was an uphill battle to learn a new sport in time for the first game of the summer.
Our intern class got right to learning though. The first informal practice happened after our second day of work. Slowly, but surely, interns who had never thrown a baseball before started to pick up the basics. It wasn’t a pretty sight – but it was improvement. On the day of our first game everyone showed up early to get in a little more practice and go over rules. The latter part must have taken a couple of games to really sink in I guess, highlighted by a very funny moment when someone successfully hit the ball for the first time and proceeded to run to third base before first base.
The pinnacle of our season came late in the summer in a game against the actuarial full-timers, many of whom were the managers and mentors of players on our team. All of the stars aligned and we entered the last inning of the game with the lead. 3outs to go… 2 outs to go... 1 out to go… and we won! It was our fourth victory of the season, but definitely our most memorable. The team went out for ice cream to celebrate, a core component of our softball routine.
I’ve played softball for two seasons since returning as a full-timer. I love that it keeps me active and enables me to relive my past a bit, while also serving as a great social and bonding experience with the other AEDP members who participate. My favorite game each year is when we face the newest Sacrifice Flies, bringing back a whole bunch of memories of my amazing intern summer. Part of me hopes that the interns will beat the full-timers again one summer. Just not on my watch!