Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Opening Day!

Disclaimer - all Major League Baseball Scouts, please stop reading now. You see, Matt is just so convinced that Chance is destined for a career in "The Bigs." But really, since he's only 7, we are still practicing that aloof, careless attitude that must accompany any professional sports personality. So, this post may get a little too excited and just plain giddy - which will not match the persona we are so striving for.

If you are simply a friend or grandparent who won't mind my boasting, and if you promise to only roll your eyes a little bit, you can read on . . .

Saturday was opening day of baseball. This is a big deal in our town. For one day, the bitter rivals of Cal Ripkin Baseball vs. Little League Baseball bury the hatchet, and put on a huge parade and opening ceremonies for the kids. They all just look adorable, all decked out in their uniforms, each team piling in the back of an obnoxiously decorated pickup, and cheering through the parade route. Scrapbooking moments abound, let me tell ya!

Our Little League is broken up into three parts - Instructional, Minors, and Majors. Chance is currently in the Instructional League.

So, for the first excitement of the day, Chance's coach informs him that one of the Minor League teams is short of players for their game, and would he be interested in joining a couple of his teammates to help them out.

It's the Instructional League equivalent of being "called up" folks! How can one little heart contain this much excitement?!? I didn't have to tell him to smile for a picture all day - it was permanently etched on his face!

So, we have the Minor League game at 1:00, then our regular game at 3:00. Our first of what will be many double-headers in our lifetime.

He did really well with the older kids. Got hit by a pitch and walked - without even wincing, let a long crying. Then, he did this little accidental bunt thing on his next at-bat, and was thrown out at first. But, he stayed in there - didn't shy away from the faster pitches, paid attention when playing in the outfield, and had a pretty good game!

Then, came his regular game. Man, he was warmed up and ready to go - pretty much still on Cloud 9. He was up 5th or 6th in the batting order, and when he got to the plate, the bases were loaded. First pitch, he hit a GRAND. SLAM. HOME. RUN!!! I was screaming so loud, I'm sure I was quite an annoyance to anyone sitting nearby. Too bad - when your kid hits a home run, I will not deny you the right to scream yourself into an absolute frenzy. Mind you, this is instructional league - it's not like there is a fence he hit this ball over. We play at a playground - he just hit that ball so dang hard and far that the poor little outfielders on the other team didn't have a chance of getting it thrown in by the time Chance rounded all those bases.

Since Chance started baseball 3 years ago, Matt has always said that he would take him to a Mariner's game the first time he hit a home run in a real game. Those were almost the first words out of his mouth after he crossed home plate - "When are we going to a Mariner's game, dad?"

He got a single in his next at-bat, and then ANOTHER. HOME. RUN. on his 3rd at-bat! The kid was on fire! It was so, so fun to see the joy on his face. In his prayers each night since, he has thanked God that he is good at baseball and he can hit home runs. So precious.

And, you guessed it, the next words out of his mouth after the 2nd home run-

"Dad, does this mean I get to go to 2 Mariner's games?"


Darla said...

All Parents have bragging rights :)
Thanks so much for all your help this weekend... You are a true friend..

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

What a darling post Heather. I'm so glad I'm not a pro baseball player and could read it in all of its excited glory.