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On Deck: My Hopes & Dreams


If you are newly reformed Amish, live under a rock or not privy the disinformation I spew here and on Facebook, I have a 31/2 year-old son.  Unfortunately, that is a half year too young for any tee-ball league.

I was inspired, as often I am, by a fellow blogger Marcy1 and her post on her son, also named Jack, and his rising baseball acumen.  See, her Jack was an early baseball bust, but after a three year layoff, he is excelling in the AAAWYLLL… As much as it seems, that acronym is not terribly exaggerated.

A year out of college, I started as a fill-in on a work-league softball team.  They stuck me in right field and buried me in the line-up.  In my debut, I made a pretty amazing over-the-shoulder catch and was clutch at the plate.  They asked me back, and an addiction ensued.  Before long, I was in three leagues, flashing leather, gunning runners and calling my shots at the plate.  I was promoted to short-stop, the lead-off, and I was ripe with swagger.

Well, about five years went by and twenty pounds came on; my productivity waned like a French insurgence.  I was demoted back to right field, slid down the order like a stripper on a pole, and my confidence was that of a barber withParkinson’s disease.  In my last work-league hurrah, I filled in at first base and dropped 3 chest-high strikes (sorry John).  That same game, I  struck out swinging, a feat I hadn’t accomplished in the previous half decade.   Dejected, I hung up my cleats that very night.

I’ve played once in the 10 years since, and I did well at the plate.  I drew a walk, then hit a line-shot single.  On the next pitch, my comeback was tragically truncated when I pulled my hammy going from first to third…  So basically, tee-ball can’t come soon enough so that I may live vicariously through my Jack, who, if he has any luck, will have the talent that I so briefly flashed.

So, no pressure Jack.  It’s only my hopes and dreams that rest squarely on your capable shoulders2.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Carolyn permalink
    05/19/2010 9:22 pm

    Jack may or may not make you proud on the field, but he is so adorable it won’t matter.

  2. 05/20/2010 7:21 am

    What a great post.

    And you are not alone. The way some of these dads (mine included) hire extra trainers, send their kids to agility workouts and sports therapists, and then scream at yell at their kids from the bleachers makes me think every boy out there is living their father’s unfulfilled dreams in some way.

    Amidst it all I just yell : “Have fun! Winning isn’t everything!” and watch the fathers give me dirty looks.

    LOVE IT.

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