The big-league Boys of October may be vying for a playoff spot, but we're enjoying the all-American sport on a whole different level: watching our two grandsons play baseball. Four-year-old Noah is playing Blastball for the Rebels. These little guys hit the baseball off a batting tee with fat foam-covered bats, getting several tries. If they get lucky enough to send a ball into the field, a large group of dads are out there ready to guide them around the bases. Truth is, the ballplayers don't have a clue and they set off running to the pitcher's mound or in other directions until an adult catches them and corrects their path. No one keeps score and the games last only a merciful 30 minutes. Oh well, I guess you have to start somewhere.
Booker, age 10, is playing on a Little League team. His coaches have told him he's the only player that can successfully make a throw across the field, so they're teaching him to pitch. Unfortunately, every game and most practices since they began the season have been rained out, to his great disappointment. Finally we got to see him play on Saturday evening. It was a pleasant night and each player brought along a retinue of parents, grandparents, siblings and even dogs as cheering sections. These young players are a little more skilled and knowledgeable about the rules of the game. We noticed that some of them even emulate the style of big-league pitchers and batters. When Booker has his second at-bat, he gets whacked in the elbow by a pitch. It raised a significant bump, so he was benched with a cold gel-pack on his throbbing extremity. Nothing was broken, thank goodness. If both of them stick with it, we look forward to watching them develop as players. That remains to be seen, but in the meantime, we're enjoying the game.
I'm Chris Barabasz, retired from a 35-year career managing communications for health care development (that's fundraising for you civilians). I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and freelance writer. My husband Andy and I moved from Delaware to Texas to be closer to our daughters and three adorable grandchildren.