Monday, October 20, 2008
The Tee-Ball Chronicles #3
I've had three games as first base coach to get to know this year's squad. Here's a look at the nine members of the team, besides my son, through my eyewitness accounts of their respective skill sets and the invaluable conversations I've shared with each when they reach first base…
#2 – Nicholas: Small for his age and very quiet. He's fine for the first 30 minutes, and then loses all interest in everything around him. Watching infield dribblers bounce past his statuesque, indifferent defense is a sure sign for the "snack mom" to get her wares ready…the game's almost over.
#3 – Gavin: Best player on the team. Showed up for last Saturday's game (and, coincidentally, "picture day") wearing eye black. Voted by Pirates' coaching staff as "most likely to kill our first baseman with a throw".
#4 – Berlin: Our obligatory girl. She's got a good swing and won't take sh*t from the boys when every groundball turns into a dog pile of preschoolers. Even scarier after the games, as she can push, shove and roughhouse with the best of them. 25 years ago, she'd be that sitcom tomboy who'd show up looking beautiful at the school dance – much to the surprise of Ricky Schroeder.
#5 & #6 – Tyler: While Afro-centric names like "Aaron" are easier to mock, I'd like to remind my white readers that all of these "Tylers", "Morgans" and "Dakotas" will eventually grow up and want nothing to do with their universally ordinary first names. From kindergarten through sixth grade, I knew 200 "Toby"s and 2,000 "Jeremy"s. Pretty sure I don't have any friends or co-workers with either name, today.
#7 – Ernie: Jalen's best friend on the team. Nicest kid you'll ever want to meet. Was absolutely devastated when his throw to first base – an on-target toss from halfway across the diamond – smacked the first baseman in the face. Ernie also indirectly taught me not to yell instructions at the kids. My high-volume "run to second" directive was met with a sea of tears and a boneless jellyfish collapse into his mom's arms. Whoops.
#8 – Corbin: See "Tyler".
#9 – Jason: Funny kid. Late in Saturday's game, he told me that Matthew (#10) "needs a lot of help". When every father near the field took turns reminding Jason that he had to run to second base, he looked at me and exaggeratedly rolled his eyes. Since he's white, that's "intensity". If it was Jalen, he'd be "uncoachable".
#10 – Matthew: Matthew cries when someone else on his team fields a ball…even if he's playing third base and the ball is hit to right field. Matthew cries when he's standing on first base and the other team fields a ball (which, while ostensibly a baserunner, he never fails to chase after). Matthew has gotta weigh at least a c-note. He literally ran over the Red Sox's second baseman on his way to a "triple" that went about 10 feet and took 20 minutes.
Your 2008 4S-Ranch Pirates!