As I mentioned in my “This is 40” post there were other things that happened on the day of my birthday. One of those things was the announcement of the North Scranton 9-10 year old All-Stars, and my son made the team. Last year during a fantastic Pony League season we went to a few All-Star games and at that point he decided that the next year (his first eligible year) he wanted to be an all-star, so that was the goal since before this season began. As a kid I didn’t excel in sports, I enjoyed them but I hated practicing. My son isn’t like that at all thankfully and he spent the winter months in camps at The Sandlot to help improve his game and keep practicing because he loved playing.
That practice and drive even landed him an invitation to practice and play with the travel team Baseball U and although we were unable to play many of the tournaments it did allow him to play at a tournament at Diamond Nation in New Jersey which was an amazing experience.
Now here we are just a few days away from the first of four pool play games for the PA District 32 All-Star tournament and all the work has paid off. During the season my son managed an above .500 batting average and lead his team Oak Street Express in runs and stolen bases and became the pick for center field for the NS All-Star team. Like every kid he desires to play the infield but ultimately he’s unmatched in center field and his coaches know it, and they knew it last year during the Pony season as soon as he was moved to center field. During the season he also managed to maintain good pitching stats and although I’m sure he’d love to get a chance to pitch during all-stars this Dad isn’t sure I could handle that stress!
That’s also been the great part about this baseball trip, I’ve been able to help out and be a part of the teams as well. Last year during one of our regular season games the coaching staff was slim and someone was needed to handle the stat book, that landed me the position of bookkeeper for the balance of the season as well as during the fall ball season. During the fall I started using the Gamechanger app and now during this year’s Farm season I’ve been doing both (a skill only a few can handle!).
I manage to help out during practice as well but I know my place, I’m more of a cheerleader than an instructor as many of these kids know the game much better than I do. Tonight’s practice showed that, and with just a few short days until game one it’s amazing to watch these kids play, and I can’t wait to grab my book and Gamechanger and do just that this weekend.
Ironically these days for someone who hated practice as a kid, practice has become my relaxation time. With a heavy work schedule I’m basically at the field if I’m not working, yet I couldn’t be happier about that.
Plus for this guy on the other side of 40 now, it helps you to feel like a kid again.