There’s a Little League baseball complex less than a mile from my house. When I left for my run this evening, 2 games were being played: One by the real youngsters, just big enough to start pitching to themselves. The other kids were a few years older, just starting to realize the excitement of hitting their first ball into the gap in left-center.
I paused my iPod. Then stopped along the fence in right field to take it in. Two things came to mind.
1. For that brief moment, I missed baseball.
- I missed putting my uniform on.
- Rubbing a new ball with dirt.
- Taking swings into the fence.
- Chugging the Gatorade after each inning coming off the mound.
- Taking a lead off first.
- Meeting my teammates at home plate after they hit their first dinger of the season.
- Team huddles on the mound during late-inning suspense.
- The pressure of getting the last out.
- The 0-2 pitch… and the 3-2 pitch.
- The family & friends watching from the stands… with expectations.
- My dad, and coaches, teaching me how to be aggressive.
- My mom, delivering the ice cold towel in the middle of the summer heat.
- The 10-run rule… and the extra-inning thrillers.
- The umpire with the tight strike zone. Thanks for making me better.
- The hustle plays. Headfirst slides. All-out sprints. Plays at the plate.
2. I looked forward to coaching my son one day.
We’re quite a few years away from this one, but I’ve always been a futuristic thinker.
I looked around at all the parents. I heard the third-base coach — whom I’m sure was a player’s dad — cheering his players on. And I thought, “I would really like to be that cool dad when I grow up.”
Thank you, run, for a wonderful trip down memory lane, and an equally as promising glimpse into the future.