Monday, June 18, 2012

For the Love of the Game

When our baseball season began all I could think about was the running here and there and the weekends that I would get nothing done around the house because I would be at ball games. I thought about the weeknights when dinner would be rushed to get to practice and the dust that would be building on my furniture as the house went uncleaned.

Then it began. The season to end all seasons. Nine games of glory. I remember Jim coming home from that first practice.. looking at me and saying with a sigh "Well, it should be an interesting season to say the least. We have quite a bunch of boys." He left it at that and I was wondering what he could have meant.

Then I figured it out at game 1.  So many different personalities but so much in common, they are goofy 8 year old boys. Kicking dirt and throwing things at each other in the dugout. Your typical 8 year old boys with a short attention span and a need to win or whine.

The first few games surprised many of us parents when the boys came together and won despite the errors and lack of pitching skills that early in the season.  But boy did they seem to mesh as the season went on. They developed a wonderful defense and their hitting on both the machine and from the kid pitchers was phenonmenal. But as they won each subsequent game it caused the other teams to put a target on their backs. The other coaches and players were dead set on beating the "undefeated team". We, as a group of coaches and parents, couldn't understand this "out for blood" mentality especially from adults when they were dealing with children. We were there to play and have fun. When the kids struck out or made and error we still cheered because we knew they felt bad enough about it. It's only a game after all. But we encountered other coaches that would put the rules (and ethics in my opinion) aside in order to win at all costs. It was sad to watch. And we felt bad for the kids on those teams because they weren't learning the true lessons.  Even those teams were no match for our teamwork and explosive bats.

We finished the season 9-0 and because our boys were not in the higher division we get no playoff or championship games they simply got a participation medal.  It was such a wonderful season and the boys became such good friends that I was sad to see it all end.  I was wishing for a few more games.

So now we have a party planned.. a bit of a shindig to close it all out. It will probably turn into a crazy adult party if you read all the emails going back and forth between the parents. But the boys will have fun and we'll be able to celebrate the season the right way and plan some get-togethers over the summer.