Monday, March 06, 2006

my son played baseball

I wrote this at the end of David's second baseball season...

David’s second year playing baseball – last year was emphatically not enjoyable since he was just learning the sport and his coach spent most of the time yelling at the kids for their mistakes and acting frustrated about how little they knew, rather than teaching and encouraging them.
Because his coach was such a pill and the experience was so negative, at the end of last season I told David he didn’t have to play again. Unfortunately, I forgot to mention this to Hannah, who signed him up. The result was that we resorted to a time-honoured method of securing cooperation in the face of parental breach-of-promise: we bribed him.

Anyway, he’s actually enjoyed this year – to the point where he chafes when he has to play outfield, and longs for the chance to play catcher or infield – he actually wants the ball to be hit to him as much as possible. His coaches this time are great: very encouraging and positive. He’s not really Sammy Sosa -- I would put him no higher than the 30th percentile on the team, skill-wise -- but it’s so cool to watch him having fun.

David’s team is the Athletics – they wear green & yellow uniforms just like the real A’s. Being a Mariner’s fan, normally I wouldn’t permit such a thing in my home, but I figured I’d have to make an exception this year…

The highlights from my POV:

Early in the season, probably his second time playing second base. High pop-up between 1st and 2nd gets lost in the sun, but David picks it up when it’s about 10’ off the ground, and makes a lunging catch from his knees for the out. Much high-fiving in the dads’ cheering section as the other fathers congratulate me on my contribution of such stout and skilled genetic material.

Warming up before the game, David catches a ball just below the cheekbone, which cuts his cheek/lip open inside. Hannah drives him to the ER where they stitch up the inside of his mouth. He doesn’t cry at all, but comes close when he hears the doc contemplating whether or not he’ll be able to return to the game – the coach had promised he could catch, and he doesn’t want to miss it. Eventually the Dr. gives him permission to play, so Hannah drives him back to the ballfield where the game’s still in the first inning. He plays well, blood-covered uniform, swollen face and all.

Two days later the cheek gets infected (they elected not to give him antibiotics for some reason), and he has to go back to the hospital where they take out his stitches and squeeze gallons of pus out of the wound, clean it with swabs and pack it with Neosporin and gauze. He spends two nights in the hospital on IV antibiotics, doing the unpack/squeeze/clean/re-pack thing several times. He misses two games, but a bunch of his teammates come to see him and bring a big get-well card.

Playoff game, David’s in left field, his team is getting shelled. At one point they’re down by as many as 12 runs. Line drive between short and 3rd, David comes in on it and makes a diving catch, rolls over and comes up with the ball still in his glove. The stands explode, and his fired-up team goes on to climb back into the game, eventually winning by a run in the bottom of the last inning.

I guess that’s basically it. David had fun playing, and I had fun watching him. I like him. He’s my son. :-)


At Mon Mar 06, 05:30:00 PM PST, Anonymous si said...

David had fun playing, and I had fun watching him. I like him. He’s my son. what a nice story! (how long ago was this? he looks much younger in this pic.) feel-good sports stories are uplifting -- at least they are to me.

the a's -- one of my favorite teams (not the colors, though). so glad you got over yourself and "let" the uniform in your house -- you, the former californian! (maybe quasi-giants fan?)

At Mon Mar 06, 09:08:00 PM PST, Blogger Kylee said...

Great story!!!

But as a mom who is getting ready for her young son to play his first year..the whole cut in the cheek/lip, stiches...infection..puss part..hmmm I coulda done with out 8)

But thanks for sharing anyway!!

At Tue Mar 07, 07:22:00 AM PST, Blogger unca said...

Great Post, Bryan.

At Wed Mar 08, 03:11:00 PM PST, Blogger blogball said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At Wed Mar 08, 03:29:00 PM PST, Blogger blogball said...

"Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday's success or put its failures behind and start over again. That's the way life is, with a new game every day, and that's the way baseball is."
- Bob Feller

Way to go David


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