Little League Opening Day. A Play-by-Play

Baseball cards

<Please read in your best Vin Scully voice.>

Thank you for joining us out here today. I know we’ve all been eagerly looking forward to Little League 2015 opening day!

We appreciate you coming out to support us here on the t-ball field and have no doubt the energy and excitement will be contagious. If not for you, maybe some enthusiasm will rub off on Royals’ #3 – currently sulking on the sidelines because of all the people who have come out to watch.

Ok folks, as I alluded to, our season opener has your Kansas City Royals at the San Francisco Giants. Get ready for some of the best rookie ball you’ve ever seen. Because, let’s face it – they’re all pretty much rookies out there.

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This is baseball like you’ve never seen. It’s t-ball.

The Giants are taking the field; Royals will be batting first and are the away team this afternoon. You may be wondering how that’s decided since every player in the league lives within 4 square miles. I’ll let you in on a little officiating secret: the Royals took all the batting helmets and put them on first.

A quick agreement of mutual efficiencies by the coaches and we’re ready to PLAY BALL!

Batting in the leadoff position for the Royals is #4, Destroy Stream. Stream is actually half of a dynamic duo – brothers on the same team, the likes of which we haven’t seen since Jason and Jeremy Giambi took the Oakland Athletics by storm in 2001. Each Stream brother – Destroy and Search – is wearing the number of his respective size.

Search is in today’s lineup but it’s looking like we won’t actually get to see #3 in the game due to a pretty significant “Oh my god, there are a lot of people here watching and I want nothing to do with this” injury sustained during pre-game warmups.

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And Destroy looks eager to get this game started. The ball is placed on the tee. Whoa! Bit of a false start there – Coach just had to remind the batter that it’s not nice to swing until the coach has completely removed his physical presence from the danger zone perimeter.

Foul ball! Looks like a decent swing there, just a little low. Destroy has a new yellow bat to swing now. This looks a bit lighter – he may have some enhanced control here. Although control is decidedly relative with this crew.

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The bat connects squarely with the ball. It dribbles into the infield and is immediately lost amid the dogpiling scrum of Giants.

Destroy takes a moment to yell, “Hi Mom!” before trotting off toward first base. He is convinced to drop the bat about half way down the line. Looks like Destroy found first base.

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It would definitely be a close play if anyone on either team was capable of making plays.

A small Giant hurls it the 10 feet toward home and it the ball makes it a good six of those feet – even traveling in the general direction we’ll assume it was originally aimed. Could also be purely coincidence.

Either way, we’re off to an amazing start and ready to head through the lineup.

With Destroy Stream now standing at third, the clean-up hitter approaches the plate. This is actually a t-ball veteran. The second year phenom approaches the tee and digs in his neon green cleats. He sets up with an impressively professional stance, bends his knees, twists at the waist and swings – with a complete follow through.

Well there’s an unsuspectedly familiar sound – a solid crack of the ball against a bat. And, oh my gosh, that ball is lined into center field.

Destroy meanders toward his parents on the third-base sidelines. The coaches are madly waving him toward home base. He’s headed toward the bench now. Wait! Now he’s going back toward the plate.

Before tagging up, Destroy grabs his bat. You already hit, kid. Did you forget already? It’s just once through the lineup. Destroy is asking if he can hit for his brother who seems to have turned down his at-bat. Ladies and gentlemen, I did not think we’d see the twin card played so soon in these young men’s athletic careers!

Eight batters later…

We’ve made it through the first half inning, after that last batter’s homerun. You don’t usually see bombs like that from the 13th spot in the batting order. But I think it’s safe to say we all saw that coming as soon as we heard the Royals’ coach yell, “Last batter! Ok! He’s going to hit a homerun now. So everyone run around all the bases!”

Quick break for water and station identification and we’ll be back with more of your 2015 t-ball Royals.

We’re back. Almost all of the Royals, plus three of their coaches have taken the field.

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Search Stream still appears out of commission, but he’s made it to the bench where he’s sitting with his back to the field. Still sulking. Maybe next week.

Destroy is playing center field/short stop/second base/pitcher/ball wrestler. We’ll let you know which one specifically as soon as he stops bouncing around. In the meantime, he’s squared off toward home and is indicating he’s got the whole diamond covered in case the additional 15 bodies amassed in the general area of second base can’t get to the ball.

Giants batter up. This kid lines one off the tee. Man! That ball made it almost all the way to the imaginary pitcher’s mound.

And without hesitation, everyone under the age of 6 has raced to the ball. Some of these guys even remembered to bring their gloves!

Folks, I can’t tell if this is a dog pile or wrestling match. It is an entire pyramid scrum of Royals. The coaches have arrived and are pulling players off of each other one by one.

Meanwhile, the Giants first base coach has abandoned his post to retrieve an over-eager base runner. Initial excitement of seeing the player run in the correct direction was overshadowed by a true team defense to filed the ball as a single unit. It doesn’t appear anyone told the runner to stop – he now appears dangerously close to overtaking third base at the Minors game over at the adjacent field.

Juuuuuust a bit outside regulation base paths.

Royals management seems to have identified who had last full possession of the ball. Now trying to explain that everyone in blue is on the same team. (Well, except for that cluster over on the Minors field the Giants player just tried to infiltrate. They’re the Dodgers. Same color; different team.)

Fifteen minutes into the bottom half and we’re ready to face the second batter of the inning.

There’s a swing with some power behind it! I’d love to see what would happen if any contact was made with a ball after a swing like that.

Foul ball! Bat connected squarely with the tee, there.

Foul ball! Batter seems to have missed the ball on the forward swing, but knocked it off the tee when he spun around to see what happened.

Well here’s an unusual swing. It seems more like an aggressive wood chop hacking style by one of our East Coast brethren jealous of our 75 degree Saturday. And the ball trickles back to the coach, who swiftly throws a stealth ball stored in his right hand out into the field.

Another melee ensues upon the trick play, while the runners advance bases.

Oh my goodness! It looks like we have an attempted stolen base at third!

Despite standard Little League rules barring leading off and stealing, it appears the 2-year-old son of the Royals coach is a bit jealous of the fun out there on the field. He has absconded with the orange rubber throw-down base serving as third.

Select parents mimic their t-balling tackle defense and wrest the base away from the little up and coming MLB t-ball hopeful.

Runner and fielder over at second have taken a seat to watch the drama unfold. Runner is sitting on his batting helmet and the fielder presently standing closest to second, Destroy, has replaced his ball cap with his glove.

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We’re halfway through one here at Elementary School Park, with two more still to play here on opening day.

The score stands at:

  • Royals: 1 refusing to play
  • Giants: 1 building mud pies under the bench

We’re just staring off the season. Don’t miss a single game!

 

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