Saturday it couldn’t have been nicer outside and a perfect chance to get the boys on a field for the first time this season. Our team is made up of mostly 13/14 year-olds who’ve been at this baseball thing for awhile. They pretty much have it down at this point, pre-practice warm ups, throwing drills, outfield and infield – I’m starting to think the coaches are pretty much there to call 911 just in case someone gets hurt. That’s a bit of a generalization of course, but it’s a joy to have watched the majority of them grow over the years from timid young boys to accomplished and talented young men who know how to “own” a baseball field.
We’re looking forward to a great season and if Saturday’s practice is any indication, a great season it’ll be. This year, we’re back to AA ball, but playing in open tournaments again this year, with expectation that we’ll again be bumped to AAA if things go well. Our messages to the boys – play like and prepare for AAA.
For most of our kids, this is a transitional season; the last of what has been their preseason (k-8). Next season, the boys will be in high school, their grades and their baseball will count from that point forward. Their parents and coaches who’ve taught, mentored, directed and disciplined them will hand them over to the world, where everything they do will follow them from this point forward. Where ultimately their success and failures are their own.
I saw a hint of that this past Saturday on the field and believe these boys are prepared for what awaits them. They’re beginning to take ownership, whether they realize it or not, and you’re staring to see hints of leadership in them. So many folks have played a role in their lives up to now, the boys come from various paths, and it’s all coming together. It’s a testament to all of you who’ve been there along the way, but as these days pass, it’s becoming more about them and their future than us and the past. They are after all, growing up.