For the last eight years February was the beginning, March was the get ready and April was GO! The ritual hasn’t changed come rain, sleet, snow and sunshine, THIS is the start of the big season. Over the years the prep time has grown to the point of not really feeling like the season ever ends. Are we finishing that one or getting ready for this one? And over the years, while still full of hustle and bustle, the season has become more enjoyable; so much so that even I am looking forward to getting things going.
We’ve made our annual pilgrimage that feels (and costs) a lot like buying school supplies, to the sporting goods store. We’ve checked the list and made sure the supplies are ready…
Pants, check. Socks and belt, check. Cup, check. Water bottle, check. Stadium seats, check. Sunflower seeds, check. Camera, check. Clothing for any and all kinds of weather, check. Hand warmers, check.
The season of which I’m referring and currently planning for is none other than youth baseball season! You were thinking that, right?
This will be the first year for metal cleats. That’s my boy behind the plate, don’t you slide into home and into his pretty face with those spikes! Thinking it, not saying it…I learned several years ago the best position for me to play during the game; number one fan! I’m at just about every game in the stands and cheering our team on. Win or lose, good game or bad, I’m proud of my player and his team for preparing and showing up to play their best on the field.
Little league and now collegiate baseball is amazing. We watch our kids grow from picking flowers in the outfield when they are five years old to being young men who play their position with skill and precision. They stand tall and are proud of the team they represent. Win or lose they show the character of the men they are becoming when they encourage the opposing team.
The coaches, us parents don’t always understand their game strategy, but we trust them with our boys not only because of their knowledge of the game, but because they will help us show our sons what it is to be a man with values and integrity. Our boys need good coaches and we have been so blessed to have many. Some of the parents get a little weird and a little over the top when the umpire is having a bad day. But within minutes after the final run is scored, it’s the boys who are bugging around talking highlights, tossing a ball around having already forgotten the bad calls.
I do love all the things that make youth baseball great: the game strategies, being outside on a sunny day watching our boys play with absolutely nothing electronic but the scoreboard, the crack of the bat or the whap when the ball hits the catcher’s mitt and the excitement when the perfect play is made.
With the final flakes of snow melting away, our team will take the field this weekend having shaken the dust off their bats, grown in maturity, taller in stature, and better in skill. I can’t wait to see what happens! Win or lose, it will be a good season.
All the best,