Monday, February 6, 2017

Baseball Season

If I've done one thing right as a parent, it's how I've managed to get the children up and moving as often as they do. Frankly, it's a selfish thing: I'm terrified of getting fat and old, so I want to be up and moving as often as possible. That makes it easy to motivate myself to get moving instead of parking on the couch and picking up the Playstation controller. The fact is, Little Bear (in particular) needs to move his body in order for his brain to start working. So, two birds and one stone, and all of that.

The other two usually do a pretty decent job of coming outside to spend time with me (particularly when threatened to leave the house). If I'm throwing with Little Bear, they'll grab a mitt and throw with us. This has lead The Boy to re-discover joy in baseball, as per the story from September of Little Bear's team needing BOTH The Boy and The Baby in order to avoid forfeiting the game. We made have lost the game, ultimately, but The Boy had an RBI groundout and made a nice stop at third base, and The Baby played a decent outfield and got on base via hit-by-pitch.

So, imagine my joy when all three boys said that they wanted to play baseball in the spring! Mazel tov all around.

Friday afternoon was the first practice of the spring, at the Shadyside Boys and Girls Club. They have a beautiful indoor baseball facility, with a couple of batting cages, a full size pitcher's mound, and an area for fly balls and throwing and such. We had about a dozen kids show up, and they fielded ground balls, did some throwing, caught some flies, hit off a tee, and hit some soft toss. It was a great night! I really like the kids that participate in the Squirrel Hill Baseball League, and - even more - I love and appreciate my fellow coaches. There's a strong understanding of baseball as a GAME: important, yes, but not as important as having fun, playing well, and making friends.

The Boy did quite well. His hitting is rusty, but it'll get there. He throws well, and he catches much better than he did last year at this time. The Baby has a strong arm, even if it's more scattershot than he would prefer. His batting isn't as natural as Little Bear's, but it's strong and enthusiastic. Little Bear is a star in the making: hard working, good form, good feet, great arm. He's learned a new batting stance this winter at Training Kamp, which is taking some time to master, but he'll get there.

Lots of Fitbit steps involved in baseball: catching, throwing, running, jogging to base coach spots... running down the outfield line to give advice and instructions to the kids in the field. Those kids, though.... they make it fun. It's a great group this year, and an even better set of men & women coaching them. Spring is arriving!

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