The one constant through all the years, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again.
And through it all, the foundation has been built on the utter chaos that is t-ball. Search and Destroy are heralding in the spring of 2015 with their first season of Little League.
Let me tell you something kid. Everybody gets one chance to do something great. Most people never take the chance, either because they’re too scared, or they don’t recognize it when it spits on their shoes.
The boys started out a bit shy â€“ unsure about this whole team concept. But new hats and shirts eventually drew them in.
Every child should experience that right of passage â€“ late summer nights, the intoxicating sound of cleats echoing against concrete tunnels, the inebriating scent of freshly cut grass mingling with the slightly damp dirt of the infield topped only by the heady crack of bat against ball or thwack of ball into a leather glove.
Man, this is baseball. You gotta stop thinking. Just have fun. I mean, if you were having fun you would’ve caught that ball. You ever have a paper route?
Of course not. Kids these days donâ€™t have paper routes. Kids these days may not even know what a paper is. And no t-baller will ever catch the ball â€“ no matter how much fun theyâ€™re having.
Don’t we need a catcher?
Not if you get it near the plate we don’t.
Of course, none of the above actually happens in t-ball.
Everybody hits. No one catches.
Instead itâ€™s skinned knees, bruised shins, blistered toes, scratched arms, and smashed noses. SNOCONES FOR EVERYONE!
Hurry up, batter. This better be a short game, I gotta get home for lunch.
I hope parents realize the kids are really only in it for the snacks. And the grass stains? Those were gained during the huddle.
Hey… Dad?…You wanna have a catch?
Last night was the final practice before this Saturdayâ€™s season opener. Jon sat on the grass, encouraging tiny Royals running rampant to listen to their coach.
It was a mock game. No one can name any of the positions. Destroy was enthusiastically part of the scrum chasing after every ball while Search held his ground, determined to avoid the ball.
Remember kid, there’s heroes and there’s legends. Heroes get remembered but legends never die, follow your heart kid, and you’ll never go wrong.
May it lead you to baseball and hot dogs.
You’re killing me Smalls!
T-ball is a delicious circus.
*Italicized quotes selected based upon my own personal enjoyment of the movies, Field of Dreams and The Sandlot.