Jul 16, 2015
My oldest son Max is a great kid. Of course I have to say that, he is my son but he does have some amazing talents. He is brilliant in Math, a beautiful martial artist and it has been years since I could keep up with him on the ski slopes. He also has some areas he is not so strong in. One of them being baseball – he has played for three years and never once gotten on base. Yet every Spring he brings home from school the baseball enrollment form and with a huge smile on his face says “Mom you have to sign me up for baseball right now.” Of course without hesitation I do.
Max is eleven now so the teams have gotten competitive – coaches know the kids and their abilities. He was placed on a team that would give the Bad News Bears a run for their money. None of his friends were on his team – he knew no one on his team yet responded “Who cares, I just love baseball Mom.”
It was opening day and Max’s team was of course playing the team who had all of Max’s friends on it – the parents in the stands had cow bells and bull horns. In the first inning the other team scored 5 runs. In the next inning Max was up to bat. He actually got a hit that ended up being a foul ball – he ran to first base and forgot to drop the bat. All the parents got a chuckle, several turned to me and said “He must be a new player.” I smiled back and said “Well, somewhat yes.”
Our team started to kick it up a notch and ended up holding them to 5 runs and we actually brought 2 runs in. Max struck out 2 more times. We went into the final inning 5 to 2, brought 3 more runs in to tie it up. The crowd was going wild, we had a tie game and 2 out’s, bases loaded and guess who was up to bat – Maxo. He walked out of the dug out, huge smile on his face, practicing his swing. I see parents bury their face in their hands. My mama bear instinct kicked in and I started chanting “Maxo, Maxo”, soon the whole crowd had joined in. And then:
He had what they call in baseball a full count. The next pitch came and he slammed the ball so hard, it went over the pitcher, second base and past the out fielder. The runners started pouring in, Max actually dropped the bat this time and ran to first base, then second, then the whole team ran to get him, lifted him up on their shoulders and everyone was chanting “Maxo, Maxo”, even the parents and players from the other team. He received the game ball. One father came up to me and said “That is what baseball is all about.” It was one of life’s rare moments of pure bliss.
We got in the car and Max said “See Mom if you try long and hard enough and you will finally hit the ball when it really counts.” There was a tear that slowly rolled down my cheek.