I never thought that I’d find myself in this situation. Neither in the years before becoming a parent, nor in the 57 months or so since I’ve been one, did I envision myself as the father of a ball player. It just never crossed my mind, even back when I took my girls to their first Major League ball game last summer, or when I started playing “T-Ball” in the backyard with a little pink plastic set we bought for the girls. Despite knocking the ball around in the yard, I just never had that vision of standing there watching my little ones take orders instruction from a coach. But last night it happened, as Addie (who will be five this year) entered “T-Ball Prep” ahead of starting “Pee Wee Baseball” next month.
One of just two girls in the group, Addie has entered into a four-week program to learn the basic fundamentals of the game. We took her earlier this week to purchase her own bat, ball and glove, and things have certainly changed since my T-Ball days. We picked up a Worth “Toxic T-Ball” bat that came with a rocked-up font, and in a pink, white and black color scheme. For me, until High School – I always used wood bats. I actually don’t recall even seeing that as an option when we bought Addie’s.
Prior to her first class, we played our first “official” game of “catch” in the front yard, with me explaining the basics of an overhand throw. She’s always had a habit of doing this side-arm, “Wild Thing” Ricky Vaughn kinda-deal, where the ball veers 15 feet to the left or right of her target. Within minutes, though – she had it down. And, seriously – I think she “has an arm.”
It’ll be interesting to see where this all goes… and it’ll be even more interesting to see how some of these parents work out. I’m not a big fan of certain “sports parents,” and I’ve had some issues with coaches over the years. Last night, on night one, I noticed a few that could be aggressive. A certain twinkle in their eyes… the tone of their voices… it just seems like some of that over-the-top “living through their kids” thing could be lurking. When we start doing the games and practices – three nights a week in June, I will be very curious to see if it brings out the worst in some of these folks… and I really hope not.
For now, I’ll continue playing those games of catch with Addie, knowing that soon enough, Little Finley will be ready to as well. In fact, Addie already bestowed upon Finn her old Strawberry Shortcake glove and bat, saying that “it’s just her size now.”
Hey, and since this is Thursday, how about a proper Throwback? Here’s me – circa 1984/85 in Little League, rockin’ my replica Chicago White Sox Uniform…