Goodbye, Mr. Spalding!

Johnny had his first T-ball practice this week.

But it may as well have been Game 1 of the World Series.

Last week Michael took Johnny to Play It Again Sports to outfit him for the season.

Pants.

Glove.

Bat.

Helmet.

Eye black.

Wait. Not sure he needed that. But we do need to buy him a bag to transport all of this stuff. Apparently, all the cool kids have one. But not everyone has Johnny’s arm or swing.

Johnny woke me up the next morning. Early. He told me to get dressed. Apparently, we needed to get to the batting cages. Immediately. He doesn’t quite get the concept of hitting off a tee just yet. No batting cage is necessary. He has spent hours in the yard throwing, hitting, and catching. Getting him to eat vegetables is a cinch now. We just tie those leafy greens to baseball prowess.

Johnny needs organized sports like no other child of mine. He has been anxiously waiting for our governor to lift the quarantine order. Spring soccer was cancelled but we held out hope for baseball. For now the teams can practice. Hopefully, come July, the kids will be able to play games.

The love of baseball decidedly comes from my family. All three of my brothers played Division 1 collegiate level baseball. The talent continues in the next generation. Together, my nephews Connor and Jack won the UIL 6A Texas state baseball championship in 2016. 6A is the division for the big boys.

I imagine my older brother reminds his sons that he won two Texas state championships in 1985 and 1987. My nephew Jack is a standout freshman pitcher at Xavier University. He was named to the 2020 Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American Team. Unfortunately, his first season was cut short by the coronavirus. Just after he had been named Big East Player of the Week. I guess that means Jack gets to be Big East Pitcher of the Week for the next year. He’s a southpaw beast throwing 90mph heat.

Xavier Baseball – Rooted Media House

So Johnny starting T-ball is a big deal, y’all. There may be some high hopes and a few unreasonable expectations. In my extended family there are 12 granddaughters and just 5 grandsons. Our chances of baseball greatness are slim. And dwindling.

We may have made a bit of a scene at the practice. Johnny is a novelty in his class with all of his older siblings. Behind home plate, Johnny had his mother, his brother, and his five sisters. All sitting in lawn chairs watching his every move. Nothing like having your own personal fan club. Supposedly there was a complaint that some people were not practicing proper social distancing during the practice. We may need a sign confirming that we are all one family unit.

Johnny confidently walked to the plate and swung like a champ.

I’ve been loosely following the quest to start the Major League Baseball season. As always, there is a dispute about money, specifically the players’ salaries. Well, Johnny plays for free. But he doesn’t mind a Thornton’s slurpee, especially if you let him pick the cup size. After his first practice, Greta bought him a Happy Meal complete with a toy. He was a content little man.

As my brother Dennis texted, “Dreams start now.”

7 thoughts on “Goodbye, Mr. Spalding!

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