Take me out to the ballgame….There is something very special about a beautiful cool Spring day drifting toward dusk as warm breezes skip across a beautiful pristine baseball field with its perfectly manicured grass and carefully swept and sprinkled pitcher’s mound and batter box. The two teams take to the field, young and energetic, each hoping for victory on this balmy night. And this scenario is being repeated all across our nation. Baseball is as American as apple pie.
Both of my grandsons play baseball. Mistakes are rarely made now when they play their games. But in the beginning it was a totally different story. T-ball was the beginning. A baseball is placed on a “t” at home plate and the player swings the bat and hits the ball and run, run, runs to first base. The opposing team has a pitcher, but he doesn’t pitch in T-ball. He just stands there getting use to the feel of being on the mound. Once the ball is hit, the infield players run to get the ball and try to throw it to a base. In the beginning, many mistakes are made…balls dropped or thrown the wrong way. The outfield players rarely see action and they can often be seen daydreaming, picking a flower or yawning. But that was then.
Fast forward to today and the players on the two opposing teams are well oiled machines. They are intense, focused, always aware of the intricacies of the game and give 110% each time they take the field. Over the many years from T-Ball to High School baseball, these young men have learned many things… the rules of the game, sportsmanship, pitching, throwing and catching skills. They have developed friendships and embraced how to win gracefully, how to lose honorably, and have been molded into a part of Americana….Baseball.
The parents deserve resounding kudos for supporting their boys through all the phases of learning baseball. They arose early on weekends to ferry their children to baseball games and hurried home from work on weekdays to get them to practice. The parents tossed the ball with them, volunteered their time in concession stands and coached year after year. Without their sacrifices, Little League Baseball wouldn’t exist. It takes a village…
The thrill of seeing my grandsons learn and grow over these past years is the stuff grandparents live for…all joy and really not much responsibility. Watching their happiness after a win or the agony of a defeat has drawn me in as an unofficial team member. I attend every game I can, sit in the stands and cheer on the team. I scream, I yell, I jump with each exciting interchange. And victory is sweet!
Yes, I love baseball. Even when I had no grandsons playing. I still find baseball relaxing, exciting, a true game of anticipation. The crack of a bat can totally alter the outcome of the game. Anyone and everyone can experience Americana baseball at a local high school. Check it out. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
And yes, I take my binoculars to games because there are birds flying about…starlings, vultures, killdeer, grackles and the squawking of peacocks just behind the baseball field. See you at the ballpark!