It was a warm and humid. And it was approaching a holiday weekend, but a majority of my little league team showed up to play. It would've been easy to pass it up, and some of the parents didn't want to expose their son or daughter to the heat. Maybe it was because they spent most of their day outside at camp, or the 100 degree heat index was a threshold deemed unnecessary to put their kids into. But yet, there were 8 of 12 little boys and girls showing up to take on a team that fielded a same number.
Our team is the Twins and it is made up of 12 boys and girls in the 7-8 age group. Most of them all go to same elementary school in Coralville and a number of them have been on a team of mine for the past four years. The first year we were the Rockies, then the Yankees. A year ago it was the Rays and now we are the Twins.
There are different skill levels and different interest levels. Some play the way they see their idols play it on tv. Some are there because their parents insist on it. And some just want to spend some extra time with their friends.
The fun part for me is watching these young individuals work to improve and listen to their parents and coaches to do what many of them did at their age. Little League is a great experience for everyone. Parents can sit back in lawn chairs, have dinner of just a soda and watch them play America's past time. It is encouraging for me listening to their encouragement and re-enforcing what we continue to teach them.
On a warm and humid night like tonight it is easy to let one's mind wander. It may be more fun to make different sand sculptures while playing the field. Fielding a grounder may be tougher than just getting in front of the ball, it is maintaining one's attention on each pitch that gets whiffed at more than contact is made. And enforcing the idea of throwing the ball to first, covering the bag, or running the ball may sound easy, yet difficult to do when needing to make a decision very quickly.
In our league score is not kept, yet afterwards I am always asked by a player if we won. Whether or not we have more cross the plate than our opponent I think I am the one who wins. It is a special couple of hours to have fun with my son and his friends playing a great game.