Take me out to the Ball game

Today we went to a Miracle League of the Triangle ball game for little bro.  I had heard how heart warming these games were, and remained a tad skeptical.  Yes, every kid deserves a chance to play baseball.  But with my attitude towards baseball, why would every kid care?  We arrived at the game, and while I did want to see Little bro play, I was not so enthusiastic about the spectators’ viewing conditions – full sun and 90°.  I had just spent the morning schlepping garden bricks for a retaining wall, nearly embedding myself into our landscape as the fully loaded 3-ton-ish wagon went careening down our 45° hillside with me running to stay ahead of it enough to avoid getting smushed…  Between the heat and the workout, I was practically drowning from the sweat off my upper lip and blinded from the salty river coming off my eyebrows.  Lovely picture, eh?  So at the game, I was grateful to be alive, freshly showered and would have much preferred to be relaxing in air conditioned comfort.  Wanh wanh wanh.  Suck it up…  Cheez-its to the rescue.  Thanks Tot.

cheez-itfix sunworshipper

Let the games begin!  Tot of course provided the pre-game entertainment.    Always a winner there.  Let me first explain, each player gets a buddy or 4, as needed.  Also, each kid has his own nickname and theme song which they play when he or she gets up to bat.  Little bro’s nickname is Piano Man due to the fact that he never goes anywhere without his Fisher Price piano (no longer being made!!) and his theme song is Billy Joel’s song by the same name.   Little bro, aka Chick magnet, way back from his baby days, was assigned 4, yes FOUR buddies.  And surprise, surprise, they were all GIRLS.  Was he a happy camper?  You be the judge…

woodysentourage

The game begins.  First man up to bat.   The cheering erupts.  As Mr. Tot pointed out, the nice thing about these games is that you will never encounter the obnoxious, my-kid-is-better-than-your-kid-and-your-failing-to-acknowledge-this-somehow-threatens-my-manhood/womenhood-to-the-point-where-I-revert-to-spoiled-child-behavior-or-violent-criminal parent, because every spectator was cheering for every player fully and whole heartedly, and every kid gets a home run to brag about.  Now while this seems contrived to some, the kids are just thrilled, with the exception of one who didn’t like loud noises and hating all the cheering.  Mr. Tot suggested that perhaps someone will have to start a Miracle golf league for him so he wouldn’t have that problem.   And when I say thrilled, I mean jump-up-and-down-whip-your-hat-off-high-fiving THRILLLLED.   When the first kid came across home plate, with a look of sheer joy on his face, the tears on my jaded, cynical, dehydrated self started to trickle.  And when another kid gave his coach a double handed high five, it was all over for me.  I’m not sure you can fully appreciate it without being there in person, but check out http://www.miracleleagueofthetriangle.com/ for far better pictures and even video.  The game was a whopping 2 innings long, complete with national anthem and second inning stretch.  It last about 75 heart-melting minutes.

 homeplate congrats

In retrospect, I’m not sure Piano man appreciated the fact that he was playing the all-American game per se, but he sure was ecstatic to have so many people, okay chicks, at his beck and call, fawning over him and on such a sunny day.  He is the ultimate sunflower – for those of you who aren’t gardeners and haven’t watched the movie, Calendar Girls, a sunflower’s “face” follows the sun through the course of the day.  In any event, it sure was wonderful to see so much joy apparent on the faces of so many kids, for whom so much is off-limits.  And going for ice cream afterwards sure didn’t hurt!

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