Monday, January 23, 2017

Giving Me The Finger

Saturday was an amazing spring day, stuck right in the middle of the winter. It was 65 degrees and a little damp; it had rained for most of the week. We made plans to go to the ball field to throw some, catch with a mitt, and hit in the cage; if we could get onto the field, so much the better. The Wife packed three baseball bags and 7 or 8 mitts, a handful of balls, a big box of granola bars, a case of juice boxes, and some bottles of water into the car, and - after my nap - we went to Frick Park / Lederman Field.

The cool thing was that there were a host of people with the exact same idea: no fewer than six baseball families came to the park to hit, throw, and catch. I played catch with The Baby, who does a nice job catching with the glove if you can throw it high enough that palm-up catching is impossible. He throws with his left hand (made him learn that, because he wouldn't commit to writing with one hand until fairly late) with some accuracy. Little Bear caught for a few minutes before wandering off to join a football game on an adjacent blacktop. I caught with some of the other kids that were there, and one of the other dads threw a ton of batting practice.

The Baby is coming along nicely with his swing. He'll be able to smack a few good hits this summer, I'm sure. The Boy is getting back into shape: he has a nice swing, and he's reasonably athletic, but he's out of practice.

I like the people who play with the Squirrel Hill Baseball League. They're good people, and they understand the game, and they understand that it's about the kids. Of course they want to win, because they want to provide a fun time with the young people; but it is not winning at the expense of learning, camaraderie, and playing good, hard baseball. This fall, I'll have Little Bear playing "D2" ball, which is kid-pitch, 8-10 year old baseball; The Boy has decided to come back and play as well, which is GREAT!!! The Baby will be playing coach-pitch Junior Pirates. The Baby and Little Bear will be playing for the 7 & under tournament team, assuming The Baby makes it (I figure he will, because - at minimum - we always need people to play on Saturdays because of the Shomer Shabbos families). Little Bear will also play for the 8's. I'm not sure which his "home" team will be; we'll figure that out when we need to.

So, we hit around, and we threw around, and we spent a great afternoon at the park, until I saw Little Bear standing by a tree holding his left hand and wincing. Turns out, one of the kids punted the ball into the air, and Little Bear decided to make a jumping circus catch on the asphalt. The tip of the football caught his left pinky, and it started to swell almost immediately.You know what that means: a likely trip to the emergency room at Children's Hospital. Sigh.

The finger is problematical, as everything he does requires 10 good fingers: cello, baseball practice, etc. We iced it all night, and wrapped it up as soon as possible. When it had swollen to twice its normal size on Sunday morning, he and I dropped his brothers at Sunday school and visited the ER at Children's.

Long story reduced to medium length, he went for x-rays, and the scans were inconclusive. They think there's a shadow or an angle on the finger, but they can't be certain that it's an actual break. Their instructions were to keep it in a splint and wait a few days; if it still hurt, then call orthopedics and make an appointment. So, he rested all day yesterday.

Good sportsman award: he chose to go to basketball, still, and sit on the bench and cheer his team. I'm really proud that he did that; he didn't have to, and he could have stayed home and sulked. His teammates appreciated it, and the coaches were all very nice and sympathetic to him.

Day two didn't go as easy: he had off from school and had some friends over, and he was not as gentle as he should be. Sigh.

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