Youth baseball. A sport with varied skill levels. Some kids can knock the cover off the ball and others have never put on a baseball glove before (you can tell these kids because they always put it on the hand they throw with.)
Baseball is a sport with no time limit, no clock. The games could last forever … literally.
It is a sport played outside, during the unpredictable weather of the spring. Games rarely get cancelled, making for some interesting situations.
This season, those windy 40 degree days made me thankful for the other 165 hours of the week I wasn’t sitting in a cold lawn chair freezing at a youth baseball game. It made me consider bringing that Bailey’s Irish Cream leftover from Halloween. That stuff’s not going to drink itself, you know.
Even for the fans (parents) that didn’t like watching baseball, there was plenty of people-watching to be had. My favorite was the 6-year-old who had his own batting gloves, eye-black, bat, helmet and special baseball bag, and still did not know which side of home plate he was supposed to stand on while batting. I’m guessing the inside of his house looks like a Dick’s Sporting Goods (and one of his parents is a baseball fanatic).
Of course it wouldn’t be youth sports without a parent that coaches from the stands, correcting every part of his kid’s batting stance, during a game, while the kid is batting.
I’m sure as much as I was watching other families, other families were watching our crew as well. We were the family with the wagon, several lawn chairs, a blanket, a snack and drink cooler, kid bikes and kid scooters. We were a traveling circus sideshow.
My daughters always accidentally sat in the wettest grass right at the beginning of the game or practice too, guaranteeing they would complain the entire time. At games, they were required to wait before they could visit the concession stand until they’d seen their brother bat twice. We gave them a limit of spending $4 each (their own money). The good news about all of this was, they paid attention to the first couple of innings of the games, and for eight bucks, our two girls could basically buy anything they wanted from the concession stand (a sleeve of powdered doughnuts at 2 p.m. on a Saturday, why not?!?)
As my son’s youth baseball season wraps up, it has been one his mom and I have enjoyed quite a bit. The sport where even though it’s 40 degrees this week, there’s at least a 50 percent chance it will be 90 degrees next week. Or, I suppose, if it is cold during the final weeks of the season, we could take advice from my son and “lay face down on the ground putting us close to the Earth’s mantle which will keep us warm.
Good grief. That kid’s not normal.