An inning by inning projection of my daughter’s first baseball game
Monday, May 12th, 2014
Today begins our athletic quest into the world of baseball.
The Eldest, after thinking through a number of options for her first summer sport, settled on a game where she gets to swing things at other things and people encourage her to do so. At home, she is extremely excited about the prospect of taking the field and at home we are equally excited about her pursuit.
“I’m going to make new friends,” she told me. “And I’m going to hit the ball one hundred one hundred time. And I’m going to catch it, take my glove off and then throw it.”
“You can actually catch it and then just use your other hand to throw it, you know.”
“Daddy, it’s my baseball and I’ll do what I want.”
My hope is that she’ll do both and we’ll cheer her on as she tries both of them.
But, like with everything, I have a view in my mind of how this is going to go and it’s probably not anywhere near what’s going to happen. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to share that with you though.
Here then, is my prediction for the first seven-inning game of her baseball (well blastball to start off with) career…
The Eldest realizes neither my wife nor I are the coach of the team.
“You need to listen to your coach, not me.”
“Daddy, can I never listen to you again if I listen to my coach today?”
After spending the first inning walking the perimeter of the field, The Eldest gets her fist at-bat and steps up to the tee.
Swing, spin, miss.
“Daddy, did you see that? I came so close and then I spun three times!”
“That was amazing. Give it another try!”
“Do you think I can spin four times?!”
“I bet you can.”
Coach: “Focus on the ball, not the spin.”
Fresh off her first ever hit the ball and run to the wrong base, The Eldest is feeling more confident in her athletic abilities than ever. And she spends the inning in the outfield telling the centre fielder that.
“Did you see me hit the ball?”
“Yeah, you hit it it harder than a rocket.”
“I know. Do you think we should pick up the ball that boy just hit?”
“No, I think the girl playing first base is closer.”
“Well it’s at our feet.”
“I know, but we’re talking and it’s rude to interrupt us.”
Athlete fatigue starts to kick in. Also, maybe I shouldn’t have told her there might be snacks.
“Dad, the coach hasn’t given me any oranges yet. Do I still need to listen to her?”
“Yeah you probably should. Maybe you’ll get the oranges in a few minutes.”
Coach: “I didn’t bring oranges.”
“Dad, she just said she didn’t bring oranges. Still listen?”
Wife: “We’ll have to bring oranges next time.”
Her 20 minute attention span has long since passed. Thank god she’s back up to bat instead of sitting in the dugout building sand castles.
“Dad, I’m going to try and hit you with this one, ok?”
“Sure, just look at the ball when you’re swinging.”
“I know, but I’m going to try and hit you with it, ok?”
“Sure, give me a second.”
So I walk over to second base.
“Hit me now.”
There are two more innings to play and the score is, who knows. I don’t remember any balls making it past the pitcher except for the one The Eldest and the centre fielder watched. There is a small chance that child scored. The score, like it should be, is inconsequential to The Eldest.
“Dad, are we going to eat pizza if we win?”
“Do you know what the score is?”
“It doesn’t matter, you told me I’m a winner as long as I try my hardest.”
“Are you trying your hardest right now?”
“I’m trying hard to get pizza.”
The Eldest is up at the plate with two outs and the bases empty (because almost nobody reaches base in this game.) She swing mightily an makes contact with the ball. She runs wildly to the correct base, beating out the throw from the catcher who picked the ball up three feet in front of the plate. She keeps running though and is tagged out before she gets to second.