T-ball, the kiddie variation of baseball, didn’t exist when my husband and I were kids. Instead, we played neighborhood softball. I discovered my talent for missing flies. Hubby learned to hit the ball — when new eyeglasses revealed its existence.
Thank goodness, our five-year-old started his baseball career with T-ball and a caring coach.
Most of the team managed to hit the ball, yet challenges abounded. Four-year-olds who had not learned to count demanded seven strikes. Batters chopped as if cutting wood. The tee, instead of the ball, flew into the air. Confused fielders stared. Were they were supposed to catch and throw this thing to first base? Napping outfielders found a hurtling ball a nuisance. One future ballerina at shortstop practiced pliés as it whizzed past.
Though everyone wanted to tag the batter out. Can you say, “gang tackle”?
Eventually, our son left T-ball behind for competition in which nobody took naps. Nobody practiced pliés.
Where was the fun in that? While I celebrated his Little League team’s championship, I missed T-ball’s creativity.
Fast-forward three decades. Again ripe with sunblock, bug spray and pride, I anticipated another T-ball game.
He joined a flock of pint-sized ballplayers wearing shirts that reached their knees, shorts that reached ankles, and hats that reached noses. Fielders lifted mitts half their body weights. Our son, the assistant coach (aka crowd-controller) walked players to positions, as some might get lost. He and the head coach demonstrated catching, throwing and hitting.
T-ball, like everything else, had become educational. That’s good.
My heart warmed, though, when an outfielder picked daisies. This pitcher jitterbugged rather than doing pliés, consumed with the joy of playing. The brave assistant coach refereed fielder pileups.
Having inherited his father’s early baseball passion, our grandson had been smacking it off a tee since he learned to walk.
“He’s a better player than I was,” our son admitted during a family Zoom session.
“A great trend,” his grandfather said. “Your dad was better than I. You were a better player than he. Now, your son’s even better.”
“Someday,” I interjected, “I’ll look down from heaven and watch our descendant in a Cubs uniform.”
Fun to project our dreams on future descendants.
But do such extravagant visions rival T-ball’s fun?
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Have you attended a T-ball game lately?