Thursday, May 14, 2009


Pook played his last regular season baseball game last night against the number two seated team. The boys were losing 2-7 when I got after them for ignoring the game and made them stand at the fence and cheer for their team mates. After the next inning they were 3-9, and dispirited. The other team had much older-looking and taller players and the boys had all but given up the possibility of doing well against them, despite being the only team in the league to have beaten the first place team. I'm not sure what prompted it, but they rallied in the sixth (and last) inning and got four runs- the maximum allowed in an inning. That should have been the end of the game since mercy rules would have prevented the winning team from taking their last half inning. But the kids were sent back out into the field without umpires or their coaches. Odd. Parents started talking and, since it was bedtime for all the boys, complaining that they were ready to end this already.

The Dugout Parent (helps get the kids organized and ready) filled us in. Despite being one of the best teams in the league, one of the boys on the team hadn't had a single hit all season. Not one. His coaches had asked if he could have one more chance. He was going to swing until he hit. There was a collective, pained exclamation from all the parents as we heard his story. None of our boys have hits every game.

A small boy, no bigger than Bug, walked to the plate. He swung and missed, swung and missed, swung and missed. When he left the plate the coach called him back to continue trying. He swung at several more pitches. He missed several more pitches. Finally his shoulders slumped and he began to walk to the dugout, dragging his bat. The game was over. His team had won. His team was headed to the playoffs. His team mates were shouting in the dugout, cheering the end of the season. He had lost.

I told both Pook and Bug what had happened. I also told them that I wasn't sure what he should do next. Maybe he should try fall baseball, the more educational league. Maybe he should try soccer. Maybe there was something he loved, that he could do well. But maybe he loved baseball.


  1. That's terribly sad. I'm sure the decision behind letting the boy up to bat was well-intentioned, but that poor child. I hope it doesn't kill his love of the game, if love it he did. But I also wonder how it possibly could not.

    Also, as a mother of boys, I wonder if you've read Tony Earley's Jim the Boy (the sequel, The Blue Star is also excellent, but Jim the Boy is particularly apt, I think). I think you would like it. It's a lovely book.

  2. Yaah! that a sad news after all.