I have to do a little fatherly bragging. My son (#3) started playing baseball this year. He’s 9, so he’s starting a bit later — much later than almost all of the players in his league. So he’s got some catching up to do. Yesterday, I went to his first game. That’s him out there in right field (you can barely see him).
Right field is where they stick the least experienced player, of course, because in the 8-10 year old league, no one hits the ball to right. In fact, in the entire game, only 4 balls were hit into the outfield, and all 4 were hit by his team. So he didn’t see any action on defense.
In his first ever at bat, he struck out on 3 pitches (two of which were in the dirt). Afterwards, his coach spoke to him about not swinging at balls he couldn’t reach, so when he came up for his second at bat in the top of the 3rd inning with a man on second (who stole third on the first pitch), he took the first pitch (over his head for a ball). He then missed a ball in the dirt (oops), and another that was inside. With the count 1-2, he swung at a pitch right down the middle, and hit a grounder down the first base line that dribbled past the first baseman. He paused before running, surprised that he’d hit the ball, but with everyone yelling for him to run, he soon began sprinting to first. Having never run the bases before, he stopped at first, with his first base coach yelling at him to keep going. When he realized what was going on, he ran to second, where he again stopped. The other team was still trying to figure out who would get the ball and what they should do with it, though, so his coaches and all of the parents were yelling for him to go to third. He jogged to third, looking around to figure out what he was supposed to be doing. When he got to third, the throw to third was off the mark, so his coach waved him home. He ran as fast as he could, and when he reached the plate, he slid in just ahead of the throw from the third baseman. Safe! A two-run inside the park home run in his first ever baseball game! His team mugged him in the dugout, and his head coach’s wife (his coach couldn’t make it to the game because he had to work — games are usually on Tuesdays and Thursdays) had to call her husband to tell him what had happened. He didn’t believe it!
His team went on to win the game 13-5. Go Warriors! Here’s the slugger holding the ball he hit for his first ever home run: