May 21, 2014 —
Any parent or other adult who has coached youth baseball probably has some stories of their own about the boys of summer and our national pastime.
My first story happened during tee ball season. I was helping the regular coach try to control about 20 rowdy boys, including one of my own.
My son hit a grounder and somehow made it to first base where I was coaching. I told him that I expected to see him on third base after the next batter hit the ball.
Six-year-olds can take things very literally as I soon learned when the batter hit the ball into the outfield and my son took off on a dead run – straight across the pitcher’s mound to third base!
I can still see him standing there so proudly with a big smile. The umpire laughed so hard he forgot to call him out.
Later I tried my skills as a coach in Little League where I had two sons on the same team.
The youngest one played in the outfield where he sometimes picked daisies instead of watching for fly balls.
I remembered those times years later when he went off to college on a football scholarship and majored in horticulture.
His brother on the same team also left me with a vivid baseball memory.
I was giving the team a last minute pep talk on teamwork before they ran onto the field for a big game.
Just like a professional manager, I reminded them that there is no “I” in the word ‘team’. Then we all yelled “team” and away they ran.
Most of the boys left the dugout except my son and a couple of his buddies.
I asked them what was happening and my son responded with a snicker:
“You’re right, Dad. There is no ‘I’ in ‘team’ but there’s a ‘me’.”