Ask me if any of our children will be playing little league baseball again. Go ahead. Ask me. Wanna know the answer?? It’s a big, fat, resounding, “NO!” I’ll probably eat my words one day, but I will use all of my powers of persuasion as a parent and woman to convince my kids that baseball is not the sport for them.
We were so excited to sign our oldest up to play a sport. Any sport. It really didn’t matter to us. Both of our boys are naturally athletic. You should see Kenny’s calves. They get that from me. In the future I don’t need to be in charge of sporting decisions for our kids. It’s simply not wise. This was my idea. I take full responsibility. Way back in January I started asking my love what sport Kenny should play. He didn’t have much of an opinion at the time. We wanted the playing fee to be his birthday gift. In February, they do baseball sign-ups. We I wanted immediate gratification. I didn’t want to wait for soccer sign-ups. So I blindly went to the registration night. Three checks totaling $260 later, he was signed up. The hidden fees get you every time. To play cost $80. Raffle tickets cost $30. And we had to write a check for $150 that they saved until we showed up to work a 4 hour shift in the concession stand one time during the season. I, of course, forgot to sell the raffle tickets, so I didn’t get any of that money back. I did work in the concession stand just last week. Let me tell you that it was the most exciting thing I’ve done in months! I love food service. It was my bread and butter for so many years. I almost asked the lady in charge if I could work every night. I think I need to get out more…without my kids.
Fast forward 3 months. It’s our first game. He looks so handsome in his baseball get-up!
About 30 minutes into it a shift begins to happen in the players on the field. They start kicking a lot of dirt around. Some kids are even climbing on the back fence. They spend more time asking their parents for money for the concession stand than playing the game. So I lean over to a parent and say, “Do you know how many innings they play?” She said, “Oh, they don’t play innings. They play for AN HOUR AND FORTY-FIVE MINUTES.” Oh my goodness. I honestly didn’t think we would survive that first game. But we did. I realize that kids need to start somewhere. But do they really need to play longer than major leaguers play?
Here are some examples of why we feel like Kenny won’t be headed to the big leagues anytime soon.
This is him running home! Yeah! Except that he didn’t actually start running from third base until his teammate was on the bag pushing him off and telling him to run home. He couldn’t hear the tens of people hollering at him to run home. This happened almost every time. This is him batting. If that was all baseball was, we would totally be playing again. He’s really good at it! And he definitely got better as the season went on.
I wish I had a picture of the final two reasons that we have stricken the word baseball from our vocabulary, but I don’t. You’ll just have to use your imagination. We’ve had several horrible coach experiences this season. These dads are trying to fulfill their dreams of playing for the Cardinals through their 5 year old sons or something like that. We had a fantastic coach and I didn’t even know to be thankful for him until I observed the other team coach at our last game. This guy made his own kid cry from screaming at him out on the field, threw his hat on the ground, cussed, kicked the fence, and berated multiple kids on the team when they let the ball go past them. It was awful. Seeing daddies rail into their little boys like that breaks my heart. I just know that doesn’t happen in soccer. Right?? Ignorance is bliss, so don’t ruin it for me, ok?
At our last game Friday night, Kenny had his most embarrassing moment in his short life. It might be one of our most embarrassing moments as parents. His team was batting. They’re doing great. He’s on 2nd base. He did run before the other person got there this time. Way to go, Ken! His little buddy hits the ball. It flies right past 2nd base into the outfield. Kenneth starts running. But not towards 3rd base. Oh, no. He runs after the ball. He just wanted to help the other team get the ball. He was so intent he didn’t hear all the yelling to run to 3rd. He gets the ball and throws it right to the pitcher. He’s such a team player! What’s that you say? That’s not the definition of team player? Well, he’s a good sport then. His heart just wasn’t in learning how to play. And our heart wasn’t in teaching him to love it. We’ll try something new in the fall. Like soccer. Where they can run the whole time. And coaches don’t yell and scream and kick fences. There are no fences in soccer. Where they eat orange slices and wear shin-guards and it’s always okay to chase the ball.
Soccer, here we come!!