Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Best Game of the Season

Every time my parents visit and attend Connor's baseball game - he does something completely out of character and amazing. One year, he fielded a ball in right field and threw the runner out going to first. Another time, he caught a ball headed fast and hard toward his head, and somehow had the presence of mind to put his glove up and catch the thing, rather than duck or just swat it down. He once hit a double.

A couple of weeks ago when my parents were visiting was no exception. The team had a great year, due almost exclusively to the amazing rotation of pitchers on the team. Many of them play travel baseball, and it shows. The team is endowed with a catcher that can routinely throw kids out at second when they try to steal, another player who has almost hit the ball OVER the fence, and yet another who hit an inside-the-park home run.

Despite a solid effort, Connor is not a stand-out athlete. But during the final game of the season, he pounded a ball for a single (advancing all the runners!) and made an amazing catch in left field. The ball was hit long and hard, Connor started stepping around - backward, forward, a little to the side. I know that every parent was holding their breath (bases were loaded, the pitcher was struggling) and we were probably all thinking "anywhere but Connor". But somehow, Connor managed to plant himself directly under that ball, reached his left hand up, caught the ball, and tossed it back into the infield. Ed even commented that he looked more graceful than lost.

This is what a kid who just made a great catch looks like.
All of the parents on the team might dread when the ball goes toward Connor (only a slight exaggeration) but all of them also pull for him so hard, because they see how hard he's working out there. I have never heard so many people cheer. His friend W. was in centerfield and ran over to left to high five Connor and give him a hug. After the game, a dad of a friend of Connor came and remarked on Connor's great game - and I have to say, this dad has been steadfast in telling me he hopes Connor sticks with it. I appreciate that. And that dad's attitude shows in his son, who routinely says nice things about Connor's baseball playing.

And so ends another season of Spring baseball. The team lost, but it was a true high note for Connor. Thank you, every parent on the team. You have been so kind to Connor. Thank you, teammates, we couldn't ask for anyone better by our sides.

I am, of course, sad that I have no photograph of that catch. It would've been fun to hang on the wall. I did, however, catch that single.


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