T’s first official season of T-ball closed a couple of weekends ago. While we have no clue who won or lost the six games played as no one kept score (and if you saw even just five minutes of one game you’d understand why we didn’t), we still had a winning first season.
Coach Chris and the entire Wardlow Park and other Long Beach Parks, Recreation, and Marine youth sports staff and volunteer support team did one heckuva job. Week in and week out for almost two months, the Wardlow Sluggers had two coaches, sometimes more, on-field twice-weekly (one practice, one game) and wholeheartedly devoted to teaching a group of about a dozen five- and six-year-olds the basic skills of the game, from batting to base-running, with fun and positive sportsmanship tossed in between as the glue to hold it all together.
OK, so perhaps the team wasn’t hitting it out of the park ALL of the time. Of course, no first T-Ball season is complete without its fair share of foul balls, AKA what the kids actually do on-field versus paying attention to the game. There were your usual, run-of-the-mill, kids-sitting-on-the-field-glove-off-picking-grass types, for sure, but T had outdone that and with grand slam flair. Once while on third base, when the ball was hit, he ran directly into the dugout. When we asked later why he did that, his response was, “It’s a lot closer than having to run ALL the way home then back to the bench!” Well, of course it is, T, why did I even ask?!
The second and even funnier foul-tastic T “play of the year” was during his final game. After the ball was hit, third base runner T ran straight for a leaf on the ground in front of the third base dugout. He picked up the leaf, examined it closely, and was promptly tagged out, all despite our cries for him to “Drop the leaf!” and “Run Home, T!” Oh well. There will always be another opportunity to stand on and run from third base, but perhaps there won’t be another opportunity to pick up that leaf.
Aside from those highlights, the rest of the season was even more spectacular. By the final game, most of the kids finally had the understanding that once they hit the ball, they are to run to first base; conversely, if they are in the field, once the ball was hit they were to field it and get it to the first base-person either by throwing it or rolling it. Most remarkable however was that by the last game, everyone was hitting off the pitch rather than the tee, including T! His best hit was his last at-bat for the year, line-driving it over the pitcher’s mound up the middle for an easy base hit. Way to go, T!
We wrapped up the T-ball season with a banquet at the rec center where kids got a pizza lunch, team photo, and trophy. Yep, T has his first trophy! T also took the time to make Coach Chris a thank you gift, which was warmly received (thank goodness, because it was rather large and, um, abstract).
Though the kids slapped their final high-fives of the T-ball season, that doesn’t mean T’s sports career has come to a halt. Up next is… flag football! Yeah, I know, are we crazy?! Well, I guess we shall see what the official review reveals in a few weeks. I figure at the price (i.e., free, as all sports leagues through this program are, aside from nominal trophy, t-shirt, and banquet fees), it’s worth trying all of them at least one time through. We will hear more about football later this month, so stay tuned.
I find it fitting that my post today has to do with one season coming to a close and another starting up. Today just happens to be T’s last day of summer break. While I’d love to be spending it out and about doing something super-duper fun with T before school starts tomorrow, we are staying local all thanks to a leaky oil pan in my car. So the car’s in the shop (boo!) and we’re on foot (and scooter) and the bus later for gymnastics. Pretty bittersweet way to end an otherwise awesome summer… though for as awesome as summer was, I have a feeling we’re in for a pretty spectacular school year ahead, too. Play ball!
With Labor Day now behind us, what are you most looking forward to at the start of this school year and into the fall, RMT’ers?