There are three things in my life which I really love: God,my family, and baseball. The only problem – once baseball season starts, I change the order around a bit. ~Al Gallagher, 1971
That’s the way things are in this family, too. In fact, in my kitchen hangs a wooden sign that rather proudly announces to all who enter ” We interrupt this family for baseball season. ” Only thing is, baseball ‘season’ now runs Jan- Nov. But hey, we are at least off for December. December flies by so quickly we barely even notice that we aren’t playing.
Good thing I love baseball. I have always loved baseball. Long before I met my husband, my father and I would sit in our living room, with one of those big round metal Good’s Chips cans in between us, happily crunching along as we watched the Phillies play. Tug Mc Graw was my favorite back then. Mike Schmidt. Pete Rose. (Am I dating myself?) I am a disappointment to the sport I love, though. I couldn’t remember a single statistic if my life depended on it. My brain simply won’t work that way. If you know anything at all about baseball, you know that you must be able to come up with any given stat at any given moment. You must know a batters’ avg against every pitcher from every team in all sorts of weather and under every circumstance. You must know what he ate for dinner that night , too. What type of bat he prefers, and where he shops.
When I found my husband he was traveling our country playing men’s major fast-pitch softball. He was quite the baseball player in HS , too. Which his father would be more than happy to tell you about. That’s another thing I’ve learned (at least in this family) about baseball players, have they got the stories! Every game is relived countless times and no detail is ever forgotten. Every player gets better as time goes on, too. No one ever struck out and everyone always threw strikes “back in their day” (which confuses my brain sometimes how it is possible to have such perfect pitchers and perfect hitters at the same time). It amazes me that the world isn’t filled with hundreds, nay, thousands of senior citizens who are all retired major league ball players that have thrown countless perfect games and are all tied for the major league batting titles.
But my husband was good and so was his father ( as was mine) so it would only stand to reason that our son would be a natural, too. By the age of 2 my son had full catcher’s gear. He could throw a ball before he could walk. He was “wow-ing” people in little league already. I love to watch him play. I love to watch him do what he loves just as I loved watching his father play , too. They both give it all they’ve got and play with a passion that is obvious to anyone who watches. I’ve never washed one clean uniform after any of their games. “Dirty baseball players” – that’s a whole other blog.
I always feel like each season is going to be my favorite. High School, Legion, Fall Baseball. His freshman year of high school he was on the Varsity team and the team won Districts. That was a pretty special year. I fell “in love” with his first Legion team this year , too- the Oley Topton Patriots. Called them my “Summer Love” Those Patriot boys were something special too. So much talent, so much heart. It was a very sad day for me when that season ended all to early. Now Nick is playing for an 18U Showcase team with Berkshire Baseball. Traveling. Sadly I was forced to miss his first travel weekend because of a treatment but I’m hoping to catch the next one.
We have big dreams for our son. What parent doesn’t? We are hoping for a scholarship for him. He has good grades..works hard and plays harder. More importantly to us, he’s a great kid. But there is nothing he wants more than to play baseball. So if that’s what he wants, of course we want it for him, too.
Somewhere along the way, my love of watching he and his friends play this game that they love turned into my new hobby that I love. – Photography. I was about to pack it all in the other day when a father of one of the boys from my Summer Love wrote to me to thank me for sharing my photos and showing baseball “my way” and allowing his family from far away to follow his son’s Legion season.
Sooooo, for now, I will stick to sharing my love of baseball with you, with everyone. Jan-Nov. It’s hard to quit. I ‘ve tried before but 99.9% of the time I’ve failed. When it rains. Whether I’m away or “at home”.