Parents, I know you are with me when I tell you that watching T-Ball games can be likened to getting your teeth cleaned, removing splinters, and trying to keep a baby quiet on a plane. But it also has its endearing moments – like when the kids run into each other trying to catch a ball, or pick dandelions in the outfield. Let’s face it, attending T-Ball games is part of the parenting contract. We signed up to always be in our kid’s dugout to celebrate their victories and ease their losses. I know most people hope their little ones will learn how to hit, field, and throw, but I’m hoping Chase also learns the true wisdom of baseball from his time on the diamond.
- Being able to wear that jersey is a big deal. You are a part of something. Be proud of your squad! Always meet them at home plate with a high five, yell out “Swing-Batta-Batta” from the dugout, and share your sunflower seeds. You should always be more concerned with getting your teammate home from third base than with increasing your batting average. Apply this to all areas of life. Let your greatest accomplishments be in helping others first.
- Just like life, some innings are exciting and everything goes your way. You hit a home run, pitch a no-hitter, and you glance up in the stands and that cute girl you like is watching you. Some innings suck. You will strike out, you will rip your pants getting tagged out, and that girl you think is cute is wearing another guy’s jersey number. The good news is even the really long, dreadful innings have to end eventually and there is always another at bat.
- Snacks are an important part of life. You should enjoy special treats like peanuts, Cracker Jacks, hot dogs and, if you’re lucky, an ice cream sundae in an upside down baseball helmet.
- If you play baseball long enough, you’ll make your share of errors. A ball through your legs, a throw that goes wild, or get called for a balk on the mound. Don’t let that get you down. Learn to forget what happened in the past and not worry too much about the future. Just keep your eye on the ball, kid.
- You will learn that while players and coaches get all the glory when a team wins a title, the game of baseball is really held together by all the people behind the scenes: the trainers, the bat boys, the groundskeepers, and lots of moms. Moms are behind most great operations.
- It’s okay to steal…second base.
- When you are winning you will have lots of fans, but there will also be lots of haters that try to mess with your game. “Clear the mechanism,” and focus on what you are there to do, not what anybody else thinks of you. Be sure to notice who is still in your stands when you are in the middle of a losing streak or a rain out. Those are your real fans.
- “There is no crying in baseball!” There is a time and a place to have your meltdowns, but not at the expense of the team. So cry it out on your own time and then fix your eye black and get back on that field, boy.
- Sometimes it’s good to not live life by a clock. Go play outside, leave your phone behind and sing “Take me out to the ballgame” at the top of your lungs. It’s good for the soul. Remember that in the bottom of the ninth one of the best memories you will cherish is having played catch with your dad. It is one of the simplest gifts to pass on to your kids. You just need a ball, two gloves, and the gift of your time.
- One more lesson…should you make it to the big leagues someday, most ball players buy their mom a house in Boca…just sayin’.