Tag Archives: little league

All Heart

8 Jul

Barrow County 7U All-Stars

They went out there and never gave up. Never. Two games played. Two games lost. Two games full of heart.

This was the first year for Barrow County to have a 7 and under All-Star team. The first year for the 7U to place in the district tournament. The first year for the 7U to make it to the Dizzy Dean State Tournament.

No, they didn’t win. In fact, they didn’t score a single run in either game. What they did though was keep playing with all their heart. They kept that heart in the pouring rain and after a two-hour mid-game rain delay where they had their concession stand hot dogs and french fries passed to them through the dugout fence. They kept that heart as their side of the board still glowed “0” inning after inning. Diving for catches, hustling for hits to outfield, swinging away, earning each base they ran or slid to claim. In the end, Nate didn’t cry because the team lost. He cried at dinner, hours after the game, because “I don’t want my season to be over” and “I won’t get to see my friends for a long time now.”

I’m beyond proud of these boys. They had so much fun playing the sport they love and hanging out as a team. They became that team within days after playing against each other in the regular spring season. Watching them on and off the field, you would never think they were ever opponents. They swam and laughed together, hunted slugs together until way past their bedtime, enjoyed a funny movie together, ate meal after meal together … On the field, they cheered each other on during the games and always showed support and concern for each other.

Nate can’t tie his shoes. He needs help cutting his steak. He can’t reach the hotel sink to brush his teeth. He can, however, track a hit baseball in the air and know exactly how to move to make the catch. They all know what they need to do to try to stay on that dirt for just one inning more. These little boys are so remarkable. Sure, they will lose games – but I have a feeling they will never lose their heart.

He Caught That

He Caught That?!

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Diamond Dreams

5 Jul

There you sleep, barely a wrinkle in the blankets of the hotel queen bed next to ours. You are so sweet and peaceful. Hours before you had batting practice at the cages, ate four pieces of pizza and pounded that kid-sized root beer while sharing a table with your team. After dinner, you played a “who could pick up who” game and begged to hit the pool “just for a little bit” before bed. We traveled two hours for this adventure. A chance to play in the Dizzy Dean State Tournament. You are an All-Star. You are seven.

What will you remember of this trip? Could this be the one time you experience something as neat as this? You were supposed to play your first game tonight. Instead, rain delayed your fun on the field and opened up another kind of bliss. Goofing off with the guys. Cannonball contests in the pool until the sky turned dark from night instead of storm clouds. Curiosity about what the other boys are doing as we headed back to the room for bed. “Where’s Bryte staying? Are they all still awake? When will we play tomorrow?”

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I’m sure they were all like you … eyes more than ready for sleep with baseball diamond dreams in their heads. Sleep well, Barrow County 7U All-Stars. I hope this is a weekend full of special memories for you.

Sleepy baseball boy

Sleepy Baseball Boy

Wanna Play Baseball?

7 Mar

It’s a question we’re asked over and over each day. Even after we just get finished playing catch or batting with Nate, he asks, “Momma/Daddy/Nia, wanna play baseball?”

The little man loves the game. Everything about it. He wants to bat. He wants to catch. He wants to throw. He wants to run the bases. He wants, of course, to hit a home run. Now, he’s closer to doing all of those things – on his pre-tee team.

Swing away!

The first practice was a little haphazard and dangerous – the kids kept rushing the ball when it was hit – almost ending in a pileup each time, one poor kid kept crying every time he didn’t get to the ball before the other kids and we all gasped when Nate threw the ball at the kid running the bases, hitting him in the helmet. (Luckily, the little runner didn’t even know it happened and when I apologized to his grandma she said, “That’s ok honey. That’s why we’re here. To learn.”)

Fielding

The next practice went a lot better. The coach put Nate in as the pitcher because, in pre-tee, after the batter hits, the ball gets thrown to the pitcher and then the runner has to stop. He chose Nate because he’s the only one who can catch/stop the grounders right now. (We’re so proud! It could be because he will sacrifice his body to stop the ball too – yeah.)

Daddy Coaching Son

Playing baseball is making Nate so happy. He lives to play. He wakes up and asks, “Do I play baseball today?” Before he falls asleep he asks, “Do I play baseball tomorrow?” When we tell him yes, he lets out a squeal and giggles. I hate it when we have to tell him no.

Little Ball Player

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