T-Ball Tales Part 6

7 August 2009
Well, T-Ball wrapped up last night.  It was supposed to be the kids vs. the parents, but the other Coach had some crazy idea that we would play each other and just have the parents bat after the kids.  The parents had to hit the opposite way and run backwards.  It was pretty funny.  I am happy to report that none of the parents, myself included, tripped while running the bases. 
 
Heath had a good time, hopefully next year he’ll be a little more focused.  It was good to see him interact with some of the other kids on the team, although for the most part he stuck with our neighbor, who is one of his best friends.

My brother, who works out of town a lot, was able to go to the game.  Seeing him reminded me of one of my Little League Tales.  There was a play at the plate where knocked the Catcher over making him drop the ball.  They called me out because you weren’t allowed to run the Catcher over.  My brother yelled at the ump that he was blocking the plate.

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T-Ball Tales Part 5

23 July 2009

T-Ball was a little chaotic today.  The competition to field the ball has heated up.  Every grounder turns into a little mosh pit.  Everyone wants to play in as close as possible to get the ball.  I had to move some of the kids around so everyone could get a shot.  At one point Heath and one of his best friends Caden were wrestling out there.  I had to take my Coach hat off for a second and put the Referee one on.  Heath got to bat twice, and really got a hold of the first one. 

JP took some pictures of last week’s game that I’ll share with  you.

T-Ball 1
Striking a Pose on Third Base

T-Ball 2
Big O watching Big Bro

T-Ball 3
On Deck

T-Ball 4
Heath’s version of scoring a Run

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T-Ball Tales Part 4

18 July 2009

This week’s T-Ball game was a special one because my 2nd best friend (other then my wife) JP was able to watch Heath play.  If you regularly read the posts on LestersLegends.com, you may have heard of JP.  He goes by the moniker BDJP or Big Dog JP.  JP and I go back to the 8th grade.  We were good friends in high school and decided to go to Syracuse University together.  We roomed together Freshman year in Brewster, Floor 9, aka Brew 9.  Many of my closest friends to this day come from Brew 9.  We all joined the same fraternity, Sigma Alpha Mu, because they were starting the chapter back up and we wanted to stay together.  Roughly half of the original Sammies that joined in the Fall of ’94 were Brew Niners.  JP and I never roomed together after our Freshman year for a multitude of reasons.  I think we figured out it our schedules just didn’t mesh.  Though we drifted some when JP move off-campus we remained best of friends and still keep in great touch today despite living in opposite ends of the Earth. Well, not quite, I live in Minnesota and JP lives in Brooklyn. 

Despite living so far away JP has been an important part of my son Heath’s life.  He flew out to watch him get baptised.  We went to the East Coast a couple time.  JP has come out here a couple times.  One of Heath’s favorite birthday and Christmas presents are JP’s because he always gets him cool figures (Justice league first, and now McFarlanes’).  Whenever I talk to JP on the phone, Heath wants to chat with him. 

Well, Heath was a little shy at first, but he warmed up to JP.  JP told Heath to field five balls during the game.  I think he fielded one so far this year.  He was determined to put on a show though as he fielded three grounders.  He may have got more, but I moved him around so some of the other kids could get a chance. 

Heath has had so many people come watch him play.  I would like to thank my Dad (Pete), my Mom (Karren), my Mother-in-Law (Carol), my Father-in-Law (Denny), my Uncle Larry, my Aunt Jean, JP, and Heidi and Dave for coming out to see Heath this year so far. 

Thank you for reading the T-Ball tales.  I know it’s a departure from what you usually see at LestersLegends.com.  I have this forum and I can’t resist using it to talk about one of my top two buddies (along with Heath’s brother Owen).  We’ll talk fantasy sports another time.  If you have a child in athletics, a play, a musical, cub scouts, girl scouts, whatever, please feel free to share a story.  After all, that’s what’s life is about.  Creating and sharing great memories.

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T-Ball Tales Part 3

10 July 2009

We had last week off as it was probably assumed that families would be on vacaction for the 4th of July.  We returned to action last night and it was actually uneventful.  I mean that in a good way.  After the picture debacle, I needed that.  Heath kept his language in check and did his best to try to field some grounders.  He hit the ball fairly well.  All in all it was a good time.

Heath turns five on Monday, but we let him have one of his presents early.  A black Easton t-ball bat.  His birthday party is on Sunday and he chose a Red Sox party of all themes.  Here we are in Minnesota and I have successfully been able to pass the Red Sox and Patriots fanhood to my boy.

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T-Ball Tales Part 2

29 June 2009

It was picture day last week for T-Ball so we didn’t get to play the game.  Instead we practiced fielding grounders and throwing to first.  It went pretty well, but Heath was a little disinterested.  I had one of the parents play First Base and Heath would either throw the ball over his head or walk right up to him and fire the ball. 

It turns out that was the easy part.  When we went to take the pictures the photographer told Heath to say “Daddy tooted” in an effort to get him to smile nice for the camera.  It may have worked for some of the kids, but with Heath she was just throwing gasoline on a fire.  Heath is the type of four-year old who thinks that anything pertaining to a bodily function is great humor.  To him, he just got a green light to say those words.  Thankfully he didn’t bust into any curse words, but he did say some of kids’ most popular four letter words, “poop” and “butt”, a couple of dozen times.  What’s worse is the other kids would laugh, which would just feed into it.  Getting a good team picture was a challenge to say the least.  Here I am trying to smile for the photo while trying to get my son to stop saying the naughty words. Frustrating to say the least.

We had a pretty busy weekend with a graduation party and a birthday party, but we were able to work on throwing, fielding, and hitting last night.  We don’t play this week so I hope to get a few practices in before the next game.  I just hope the words are a little less colorful.

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T-Ball Tales

19 June 2009

I am coaching my son in T-Ball this year.  It’s his first time participating in organized sports, so I wasn’t sure how he’d do.  He is very high-energy and can be distracted.  He has some attitude and a stubborn streak in him, but can be the sweetest boy when he wants to, as evidenced by the below photos.

Mad HeathHappy Heath

Last week he didn’t appear to be that interested in practice.  At his age (4) I know that pushing him into something he doesn’t want to do is not the thing to do.  However, twice between last week’s practice and this week’s game he asked to hit some balls off the tee.  I was quite pleased. 

So yesterday we had our first game.  They warmed up for 15 minutes and played for 25 minutes or so.  Being the Coach, I have to get there a little early so I can make sure all of the kids know where we’re playing.  There are several fields and games before and after our time slot so it can be a little hectic.  My son, being the four-year old boy he is, found a puddle to play in while we were waiting for our turn to take the field.  When we warmed up he was a little disinterested.  When the game started he got a little more into it. 

We were the Home Team so we took the field first.  Each kid gets a chance to bat.  There are no outs.  Once everyone gets a chance to hit, the Away Team takes the field and the home team bats.  There were a couple kids who were more aggressive trying to field every grounder.  Some of the kids got upset that they didn’t get a chance to field the ball.  I tried to move some kids around so everybody got a shot, but the more aggressive kids would just run to the ball.  My son was a little upset that he didn’t get to field one.  It was our turn to bat though.

I set the lineup in alphabetical order, and surprisingly Heath was near the bottom of the lineup.  He was a little upset with it, and actually tried to go out into the field with his glove while we were batting, but I was able to get him back into the dugout.  When it was his turn to bat, he hit the ball fairly hard.  He was happy, but wanted to bat more.  We had some more time so we let the Away Team hit again.  This time Heath really wanted to get a ball so he played even closer.  I had to tell him to back up a few times, but he eventually stopped a ball.  He didn’t actually throw it to First Base, but that’s something we can work on for next week. 

After the game was over we lined up and shook hands.  We got him a huge blue Icee for the ride home.  He wanted to hit some more when we got home, but my wife had to water some flowers at her parents’ house, who are away on vacation.  It was sticky out so I had to give the boys a bath and then off to bed.  Heath finished up watching Everybody’s Hero, which he enjoyed despite it being about the “stinking Yankees”.  I have him trained well. 
Everyone's Hero

Then I told him a bedtime story.  He wanted it to be about baseball with all his brother, cousins, and friends.  He wanted to bat last and win the game, so naturally I loaded the bases for him and had Heath hit a Grand Slam to win the game.  Another move typical of a boy his age, he tried to extend the story and delay going to sleep so he said Big Papi didn’t get to bat.  Clever, but I didn’t take the bait.  Hopefully, this weekend the weather will cooperate so we can practice some more.  First, I have to get him a new glove.  We left his there in the commotion.

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