The Wistful Signs of Spring
This week marks the end of another spring T-ball season, a wistful reminder of a simpler time when baseball was my favorite sport. And, when friends and I could hop in the car and drive to a Cincinnati Reds game without having to pay a king’s ransom for tickets.
Despite his tender age, this spring marked our five-year-old great-grandson’s second season on the diamond.
Last year, his sister played alongside him, but this year she opted for a spring basketball league. So, for a couple more weeks, we’ll still have somewhere to go on Saturday.
She played in a winter league earlier in the year. We couldn’t make all the games, though, since they overlapped with another great-grandson’s Upward Soccer games. That forced us into a rotation schedule.
Reasons to Love the Game
You have to love T-ball, particularly the league that wrapped up its games Tuesday night.
Let me count the ways:
- No outs. I’ve never seen anyone throw the ball to first in time to catch a runner, even if they’re able to field it.
- Kids are likely to leave the field mid-pitch to run over and hug grandma or because they have to go to the bathroom. In a game last spring, our great-grandson ran to first with his hand firmly planted on his back pocket the whole way. He didn’t want to lose his sunflower seeds.
- Learning the game. Most players can’t swing a bat too adroitly or throw a ball very far. Many aren’t sure where first base is located, let alone second or third. But you have to start somewhere.
- Family reunions. Whether it’s T-ball, basketball, soccer or watching an older great-granddaughter doing majorette routines at youth football, youth athletic leagues help us stay in touch with family. Modern-day life is full of demands, distractions, and activities that exert pressures even in rural areas. Going to games help us maintain regular contact with extended family.
Tips for Life
When an interview last year with an associate pastor wound down and we were chatting, he asked if I had a couple tips about life. He was nearing 50 and wanted to know what I would advise him about the coming decade.
I told him to be sure to be watchful of his health, especially his weight. “It will be much easier to lose 10 pounds now than 10 or 15 years down the road,” I said.
Then I mentioned to be sure not to allow work to take precedence over family time and community events that provide the glue that holds life together.
I mentioned being so busy at that time that a couple days earlier I had contemplated skipping our great-grandson’s Saturday soccer game to get caught up on the week.
“I’m glad I didn’t,” I said. “Those games may not be a big deal to us, but to those kids they’re a very big deal. Don’t rob yourself of creating memories in kids’ lives. Years from now, they won’t remember much about the game. But they will remember that you were there.”
Fortunately, despite many pressures over the past year, I have heeded my own advice. Come next season, I will again be at the T-ball diamond as often as possible. You should too.