Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Batter Up!

{Fair Warning: I have upgraded from soccer mom to baseball mom.
Buckle up, buttercup, because I'm about to share some serious little league fandom.}

Owen stepped up to the pitcher's mound, beads of sweat dotting his concentrated brow...

He ground his fist into his glove, and let the gravity of the moment sink in. It was the first game of the season, and Owen's debut as a starting pitcher for his 5/6-year-old team. He dug his cleat into the dust and made eye contact with the batter at the plate {who also happens to sit two tables down from him in kindergarten}. Then... Owen took a few steps to the left and handed his coach the ball.

Okay, so Owen's first pitching gig doesn't actually involve throwing strikes. This league is a hybrid of coach pitch and tee ball, and the kids love it. During his first fielding experience at Game One, he ran to his spot, smack in the middle, and yelled for my attention. I assumed he was going to tell me he needed to use the bathroom, so I ignored him. Therefore, he shared his question with the entire field:

"Mom, is this the time when I catch the ball and throw it to first??"

Once every parent in the bleachers gave him the green light, he was all about the action. When any bat-to-ball contact is made, he scrambles to the ball and shoots it to his buddy on first base. Once his head coach let him know that he can run to home plate and get outs there, too, it was on. He really is a good little southpaw, honest. He's also a good batter when he remembers to stand on the other side of the plate. This age group gets three coach pitches, then moves to a tee until they get a hit. Owen's gotten all sorts of runs and RBIs and other baseball abbreviations I don't know at this time.

Post-game, Owen looks like an extra off Sandlot. Ball cap askew, head soaked with sweat, and dirt up both legs from unnecessary dives to catch grounders. He grabs a Gatorade and smiles big as he tosses his glove into his bag and slips it on his back. I understand tiny humans have been wearing tiny baseball uniforms for decades now, but my goodness those are small pants expertly pushed up to reveal small baseball socks. You're killing me, Smalls.

I don't know if he'll play baseball for-eh-ver, but the first weeks have been a success. He has such a fun time, and I love watching him.... in his tiny pants. Happy Wednesday!

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