Thursday, March 11, 2010

They call it "Spring Training"

It's really a bunch of nervous kids.

Proud papas.

Calculating coaches.

And excited mamas.

So, although it's too cold to be spring, and many younger brothers and sisters were decked out in full winter gear to keep warm, baseball season is upon us.

Last night, Chance participated in the "Major League" try-outs. This mostly just means that he'll be playing with 11 & 12 year olds, not that he'll be expecting a large salary or a signing bonus. Yet.

Each kid was checked-in and given a number to wear on their back, so the coaches could easily make notes about kids they intended to choose in the "draft". Again, no sports cars or large signing bonuses on draft day. Yet.

Outfield practice went well, and Matt's chest puffed out just a bit as a group of clipboard toting coaches asked Chance to verify his number after he put on a pretty decent display.

By infield practice, he wasn't so nervous, and enjoyed seeing old friends from daycare and catching up with players from last season.

Then, it was time to hit. Each kid gets 4 pitches, and runs on the last one - apparently to show them all how fast they can actually scoot to 1st base when given the opportunity.

Pitch 1 - whiff.

Pitch 2 - whiff. Great swing, but whiff.

Pitch 3 - whiff. Another great swing. Another miss. His shoulders slump just a bit. Nervous mama wants to shout some encouragement, but doesn't want to add to the stress level. This is TRY OUTS. We only have one more pitch to show them you know how to hit the ball. Ahhhhhhhhhhh. What to do? I put my camera down and bite my tongue. Determined, he steps back up to the plate. "Run on this one," the coach says, signifying this was his last pitch.

Pitch 4 - WHACK! Almost to the center-field fence.

"Way to go buddy!" I've loosed my tongue and found my voice. My very loud voice.

Coach #1 glances at me, and then turns to Coach #2 - "That's the reason you swing hard every time. Right there."

Oh yes, it is baseball season. Ready or not, here we come!

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