I've got a couple of weeks off before my summer school class, Microbiology, starts. I've jumped into some big household projects, and finally have time to report on baseball now that we're four games into the season.
This year, Adam is on the Senior League Red Sox. I was surprised to discover that there was not even one kid from previous teams on this year's team. A few games into the season, we were to discover where at least some of them were.
In his first game, his team played the Astros. They'd played them in their practice game a few weeks ago. During that game, I realized that an old teammate of his was on the Astros-- and that I had his trophy and team pictures in a box in my basement. His parents were notorious that year for not showing up. They had a ton of excuses-- Mom was in grad school, work, etc. We all felt bad for him.
I brought the trophy and team pictures with me to that game and gave it to him. Oh-- his parents weren't there. Big surprise.
The Evil Dictator had a good game in the opener. A hit and a stolen base. It'll cost me. More on that later.
Mark Twain once said that the coldest Winter he'd spent was Summer in San Francisco. He obviously hadn't spent a Spring in Chicago. It was cold. Damned cold. And the wind was fierce.
The boys didn't notice it. They were having too good a time.
I had to miss the second game because of work. I wasn't happy about that. More on that later.
The third game was against the A's. Here, we discovered, was where all his old teammates were. There were, no kidding, a half dozen of his old teammates, from various years, on the A's.
His old coach, from two different years, the best coach he's had, stopped to see him play. He commented on the thing that all of the coaches, parents and teammates from previous years have been agog at-- that this was the year he got speed. He can run. In previous years, as his old coach put it, "We clocked this kid with a calender."
So when a half dozen of his old teammates, now on an opposing team, saw him, they were ready to take it easy. When he slapped a hit, they were stunned to see him sprint for first faster than they'd ever seen him. His mother and I laughed-- and so did his old coach, who it turned out was watching-- as his old teammates scrambled to try to throw him out at first before he got there.
The Red Sox won that game 12-5, making them 3-0.
After missing game two, I made sure to get someone to cover my shift for tonight so that I could make the game. My father had given me some good advice a long time ago-- that you get them for such a short, short amount of time in their lives. I try never to forget that.
Tonight's game was rough. It was the Yankees, his team from last year, coached by his coach from last year. The Red Sox played hard, but lost 5-1.
It was a typically balmy Chicago night in May-- the bank thermometer near the park said it was 46 degrees. I used to work construction in pretty cold weather and am used to pretty cold weather. By the end of the game, my hands and feet were numb. Even my son, who used to kick his blankets off when he was a baby, was cold. He put his "Red Thing," as my ex calls it, (teenaged boys always seem to have some favorite piece of clothing they wear constantly) on.
I kidded with some people about how we should remember that in two weeks, we'll be complaining about the heat. Only in Chicago. This morning, I walked over to the grocery store in sandals. Tonight, I could see my breath at my kid's little league game. At the end of the game, I couldn't feel my hands or feet.
There was one save tonight, though. More on that in another post.
I've heard a couple of coaches tell kids, when they've had a loss, that you win, and lose, as a team. One of the things I'm seeing on this team is kids being supportive, whether a kid gets a hit or an out.
One last thing-- I'm trying to figure out how they got their sponsor. During their first game, I noticed their sponsor, on the back of their jerseys-- www.wilcoworld.net. I just assumed that it was a company that happened to have the same name as the band.
A few nights later, I remembered to look up the website.
My son's baseball team is being sponsored by the band Wilco. They've got more Indy cred than any other team in the league, obviously.