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Sunday, March 27, 2011

WHY BASEBALL IS ALIVE AND WELL

Me: "Buddy, time for your ball game."
My 8 year old: "Dad, I need eye black like Harper."
My wife: "Noooo. He's getting blackheads!"
My 8 year old: "Mom, Let me be a ball player."
This is a conversation that took place about 1 hour ago. It's all you need to read to understand where baseball falls in his list of life importance.

1. God
2. Family
3. Baseball
4. Hygiene

As far back as I could remember, I wanted to play for the New York Yankees. It wasn't like I was talented at 7. I was horrible on the field. That didn't matter though because in my backyard, I was awesome. I had the Yankee theme music on my cassette player and the yard had bases all around, the pitchers mound was usually a brick and home plate was a garbage can top. Didn't matter, it was Yankee Stadium. I used to make my kid brother sit and watch me throw the wiffle up and crank it. I went through the entire lineup and kept track of my stats.

When the other team was up, my kid brother had to be the opposing team, usually the Royals or evil Red Sox and I made sure he didn't hit anything. It was a "thrown" ball game every time, but it was MY game.
Today, my 8 year old is in his 4th year of organized ball. Silly right? It's much more competitive. There are Rec leagues, Summer leagues, Winter Leagues and the whole time I swore, there is no way I can be forcing this kid. It's not fair.

Luckily, it's happening on it's own. Baseball is consuming him, and all I'm doing is sitting back and enjoying it. Baseball, Ladies and Gentlemen, is STILL America's National Pastime, and I can gauge it by watching my kid. I don't care what debate you want to have with me. There is something more gratifying to many, about being able to hit a tiny ball with a stick over a fence, than kicking a ball into a net or catching a ball in an end zone. The skill is different.

I'm happy to report, in his little world, baseball is alive and well. Thank God.

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