Wednesday, April 28, 2010

At Bat

I don't coach anymore. Not in the summer, at least. The kids are getting too good, the parents too competitive. I'm happy instead to be the team parent, buying socks and belts, sending emails, and creating spreadsheets.

My friend P., who I used to coached with, he's still at it. My youngest is playing for him again. There are two assistant coaches as well, both of them good baseball minds and good guys, and we've all had some fun teasing our own kids and cheering for the rest of the team.

The season began, as it always does, with a tournament named after a former local player, Scott Brainard. I'm told Scott was a hell of a ballplayer, and that he loved the game, and that he grew up and became a decent guy who got killed trying to break up a fight. His parents raised money to install scoreboards in his memory, and the league started the tournament to thank them, and now twenty-one years later his family comes to hand out trophies and remember their son, their brother. My kids know who Scott was and so do all the other players and parents and spectators who come to welcome a new year of baseball.

A couple of nights ago, we played a team from a neighboring community that always participates in the tournament. The other coach was a guy who Coach P. and I have known for years, we run into him in baseball and basketball. It was a close game, a couple of contested calls, but our guys won it for a chance to play for the championship.

Later, the other coach sent an email to Coach P. that said:
That was a nice game last night. I'm bummed (a little) that we didn't win, but your team won and showed great respect after the game. My son talked with one of your players after the game and they congratulated each other on their respective performances. It makes the game worth playing!
Coach P. responded.
I certainly agree. I saw a lot of true sportsmanship and that's what makes it worthwhile. I've really enjoyed coaching the last few years against your teams. You guys run a class organization. Good luck with the rest of the season.

I like to think Scott would be pleased.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Nice picture, Snag.

What's going on with that catchers mitt?

Vonnie said...

This is a very nice post.

Kathleen said...

it is nice, and all these stories are such a refreshing change from a lot of sports stuff I read. Love it.