Quotes I like:

“Not all those who wander are lost.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The All American Sport


Ah, spring and young men's thoughts turn to ........ well if you're sports minded, baseball. Or in the case of my grandson, T-ball. Now, never having grown up with brothers and only having given birth to a daughter, my knowledge of baseball is somewhat limited.   My grandson is in T-ball and I got to watch him practice recently.  I learned that T-ball consists of young children--boys and girls-- as now girls are allowed to play as well, who hit the ball off a "T" rather than having a ball thrown at them. Based on the ages of these kids (4, 5, 6, 7), some might cry if a ball were actually thrown at them. Several kids did cry at different points during the practice and I was reminded of "A League of their Own" where Tom Hank's character advises "there's no crying in baseball". Apparently, these kids haven't seen the film.

The kids started out with throwing practice consisting of one kid tossing a ball in the general direction of another kid who watched it go by and then ran, or walked, to pick it up and toss it back to the other kid who also ran, or walked to go get it. No one actually caught a ball.

This was followed by a practice game where some kids were assigned to play infield, outfield, etc and some kids would bat.  I was perplexed when one kid was assigned the role of pitcher.  I couldn't figure out what the pitcher did since the ball was batted from the "T", but I soon found out as the first kid came up to bat.  The kid was given instructions on how to the hold the bat and where to stand.  The pitcher then pretended to throw a ball and the batter swung at the ball on the T.  It was easy to determine which kid was which since this was practice and no one had uniforms on, otherwise I'd have to go by their jersey number.  Instead I watched "Green Shirt", "Pink Shirt", "Orange Shirt" and the like.  So to help you understand the game I watched, here is a little play by play:

Ok, first batter up.  It's Green Shirt.  Green Shirt steps up to the plate and takes a stance.  The pitcher tosses the pretend throw and Green Shirt swings and hits the T knocking it over.  The coach steps in to re-set the T and its a do over folks.  The pitcher winds up and tosses a pretend pitch straight to Green Shirt who manages to hit the ball from the T in a straight drive that goes right through the pitcher's legs.  The infield scrambles in an attempt to catch the ball but the short stop misses it as he has stopped to pick his nose.  Green Shirt stands at home plate and seems confused as to what to do.  The Coach steps in and tells him to run to first base.  Green Shirt starts ambling toward first but stops to talk to the nose picker on the way.  Ok, one man on and next batter is up.  It is Pink Shirt, a girl, who has also worn a skirt to practice. She must think she plays for the Racine Peaches.  Anyway there's a new pitcher on the mound whose rubbery, noodle arm wobbles a pretend pitch to Peaches who swings and misses and continues to swing and miss for several more tries until she manages to knock the ball off the the T and run to first where Green Shirt is standing.  Everyone yells at him to run to second base and he takes a leisurely stroll over there.  Two on base and its Orange Shirt up to bat, oh oh, hold on he has to go back for his batting helmet.  Ok, properly suited up Orange Shirt steps up to bat and, holy cow! he hits a line drive straight toward third base. Green Shirt is walking on his way there and the third baseman  misses catching the ball as he is busy looking straight up in the air. The ball continues into the outfield and rolls to a stop near the outfielder who is sitting in the grass picking weeds.  Everyone is screaming at Green Shirt to run home and he takes off toward the spectators, specifically his mom and dad. And that's the game folks!

Honestly, it was probably the most fun I have had watching a baseball game, ever!

Oh, someone asked me how my grandson did in the game. Well, let's just say that I watched as he stood on third base with his batting helmet held over his face while he turned in circles trying to get dizzy.  He later decided to use his glove as a hat.  He will learn.......I hope.

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