Friday, August 28, 2009

Catch of the Day

If you've ever attended a peewee Little League game, you'd know that walks are the norm, hits are all home runs, and the most common defensive play is being hit by the ball. But the uniforms sure look nice. I never had a uniform, growing up; but then again, I never played organized ball. Did you know they have regulation socks?

One game, my son was positioned about as far away from the action as coachly possible. Right Field. For those unfamiliar with the game, mainly left-handed batters hit to right field. Only about one in ten players are left-handed. Only one in a hundred ever hits a fly ball. My son was in a safe spot.

The score was 27 to 14. It was the third inning, after all. The game was about to be called on account of dark, nobody was interested in lining up all the cars to put on all the headlights — I asked around — when, with the tink of the aluminum bat, Lefty Mcgee, I don't remember the kid's real name, hit a pop up that carried. Yes, to right field.

I'm not very athletic, myself. My last baseball game was in junior high, and I proved to be a whiff-master. Most of my advice to my boy were phrases I'm pretty sure I had heard on ESPN; though I added my own fatherly tidbit of color commentary, 'keep that glove in front of your face, the dentist doesn't need more work.' I was little help even in the backyard ball toss, even less from the sidelines as the ball reached apogee and arced downwards.

My son raised his glove, lining up the webbing with the tumbling ball. Took tiny steps forward. Slam! His glove came down a foot and a half. Caught. My boy had just caught a ball! Coach later said that was the only catch he had seen all season. So proud.

I wonder if they make matching socks in my size?

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