There are some days when I think that I am wiser now than when I was a little younger. Other times I think that maybe I’m not wiser … maybe I am just tired. I don’t know if there is a place in the world where parents take youth sports quite as seriously as they do here in Southern California. I witnessed an over-zealous sports dad lose it tonight and I tried to think back and remember if there ever was a time when I cared that much and would have expended so much energy over something so unimportant. That is not to say I haven’t gotten upset over things in the sports world before …I certainly have. However, I have never interrupted a game to yell loudly at both the manager of my kids team and the ump simultaneously. I have never started swearing loudly for all the players to hear. And thank God I can say I have never humiliated my kids by loudly ranting for a good 10 minutes for all the players, coaches and parents of both teams to hear. All this – and it wasn’t much more than a scrimmage. It was quite a scene!
As background, I am sort of (by default) Mrs. Baseball. I never set out to be, but I kind of am. A lot of people around here – when they hear my name … they think of baseball. When I was a kid I was the only girl my age in the neighborhood so I hung out all day, everyday, with my big brother and his friends. (He didn’t seem to appreciate that – but I am sure I am mistaken!) My brother – he was quite a pitcher. I will never forget the shock of seeing him cry after his team lost a big All Star game one summer. He was the star pitcher and someone hit a homerun off him to win the game. His tears didn’t fall until we were in the car on the way home … and there I was, a little sister with hero worship … stunned into silence by his tears. I guess the game got into my blood at an early age.
Fast forward a few decades and I find myself married to a man who is passionate about the game. Briefcase passed on his love of the game to both of our boys. We’ve been in the youth baseball world for about 14 years now. About 6 years ago we formed a travel ball team for our youngest son, PR, to play on. The team (all teenagers now) has been quite successful over the years and even won a huge national title in Cooperstown last summer. The team consumes a big part of my life. It is a long, long story but basically it comes down to this: Briefcase travels all the time … so guess who does the majority of the work for the team? No, I don’t go out on the field and manage the games … but I do everything else from maintaining the team website, to ordering uniforms, compiling stats, keeping score, throwing parties, ordering trophies, etc., etc. It is time consuming. Most of the time I enjoy it. And I have always enjoyed the boys. The parents? Most of them are great most of the time. However, there are times when I wish we had a team of orphans … and tonight was one of those times.