This week marks the end of another little league baseball season. A season of firsts, tears, sprained ankles and first hits, I am sad to see it go. However, with all four kids playing this season, I am relieved to get this much-needed time back into our lives.
This year was Matt’s second year in 10U. For those unfamiliar, 10U is the first level where kids do the pitching. This changes everything as you can imagine and for Matt, he lost some desire for the game. See, last year he got hit by a couple pitches and it lead to him barely swinging a bat all season in addition to dropping to the dirt for almost every pitch. That, combined with the embarrassment just did him in. Mom gave him the “one more year” treatment, which was this year. New team, new coach and a new position; this year Matt started pitching.
The season was alright for Matt as his enthusiasm and skill increased throughout the season. Matt pitched in almost every other game, however often too the Coach’s encouragement of “Come on Matt, you got this” in a negative fashion. He rushed a lot, which brought his moral down. Not many hits this season, however better than last season. Less fearing the ball and more good swings. I will struggle with him for next year because he doesn’t want to play, but is good and doesn’t realize he’s enthusiastic out there.
This year was Andrew’s first year in 10U. A game changer for Andrew, as last year in 8U he was hitting balls into the outfield left and right as they were being pitched by the coach. This year, not so much. Many good hits, good runs and good slides, Andrew’s strongest asset is his defense; he figured out he could pitch.
While he has a way to go with his pitching, Andrew has great form and has a strong arm. When Andrew takes the mount, the opposing Coach adjusts the strategy at the plate and he knows it. This kid is going to have an exciting time on the baseball diamond and this is just the beginning for him.
This year was Josh’s third year in T-Ball. It’s hard to gauge him, however he says he has fun. It’s like another day at the office for him. He’s the biggest on the team, though he’s not older than the other kids. We considered moving Josh into 8U for this season, but Josh lacks the attention he’ll need to play at that level just yet. When he goes up to bat, the coach tells everyone to back up and keep your eye on the ball because he hits line drives. Josh has a big heart though, and despite hitting three kids this year when he was up to bat, he immediately ran right to them to make sure they are ok. My Best Buddy is a giant teddy bear.
This year was Emma’s first year in T-Ball. She wanted to be like her big brothers, and since they’ve all been playing for so long already, it was a logical step for her once she hit the age requirement of five. She began the year not hitting anything unless it was on the tee, skipping to the bases and sitting and playing in the sand instead of fielding. Most of the way through the season, she just stopped playing in the field all together. The last game of the season, she got two hits without the tee. It was a great moment each time. She celebrated by skipping to first base.
Next season is a year away, however it’s already in the back of my mind. Not only do I want to consider keeping the kids involved in these kinds of activities because they should be encouraged, I also need to find balance between forcing them to play, which I will not do. I also need to consider that as a single Dad, I have a limit also. This season, it was working 8 hours, then games four days a week without help. Until the time comes, we’ll enjoy a break. It was a good 2017 season.