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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Play ball!

We had our first game on Tuesday and I’m really happy to report that it wasn’t the total blood-bath, spanking that I expected.  Sure, we lost 10 to 5 BUT I went into this season convinced that every game would end in something like 29-0.  It’s not that I have no faith in our little team; it’s that on paper, we ARE a joke compared to all the others.  We have the youngest, newest, smallest team.  Our best player took one look at us and left.  He was replaced by a kid referred to as a “safety hazard” that no one else wanted.

At the beginning of the season, I made all of our players and parents sign a contract that they would be “RAD.” (They would Respect – coaches, teammates, themselves, equipment.  They’d Always have fun. And they’d Do their best. One kid thought I’d made up the word rad.  I explained that it’s ‘old school’ for awesome.) 

I’m proud to say that on Tuesday, they were RAD!  We only had one inning that ended because the other team hit the 5 run max.  All the other innings, we were able to make three outs.  Our pitchers did surprisingly great.  Matthew OWNED 2nd base.  He made an awesome out – getting the ball and lobbing it to first in time to oust the runner.  Matthew’s first at bat he struck out.  However, I could not be prouder because he DIDN’T have a big ‘ol pity party hissy fit about it.  (After a post-strike out tantrum at practice on Monday, we had a BIG talk about that).  He heard the ump yell, “Steee-rike!” Took a step back.  Took a deep breath and then walked off the plate towards me in the dug-out with even a bit of a smirk on his face.  It was SO great. 

Matthew’s second at bat was very exciting.  He got walked by the pitcher.  Then for the first time ever he got to slide AND steal 2nd base.  Then, once on third, he was directed by his head coach/base coach (his dad!) to slide and steal home.  IT WAS SO AWESOME.  I’m so proud of my guys.

At his last at bat, with a full count on him, Matthew managed to get a single!  He didn’t score that time, but still…the whole thing was a huge success in my book.

After the game, as Matthew and I drove home, I said, “Well, now’s when I would’ve handed you my cell phone to call D-dad and tell him about the game.”

“Yeah, I know,” he said quietly.

“I’m sure he knows how well you did, kiddo.  He’s got the best seat in the house…like a bird’s eye view maybe.”

“No,” Matthew said, “He was right down there next to me the whole time.”

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