My Son is a Little League Tournament Champ and other Exciting Stories...
After a harrowing couple of weeks of baseball with nightly games this week and a torrential rain-out and a double- header win, my son's little league team pulled it off in both of the two final games of the playoffs against the top team with a final game win of 8-6, earning them the the title of league champs. Yeah, baby!
They came a long way, and I mean a LONG way from that first Bad News Bears practice two months ago. But their journey this past week, with this winning streak of four games, was exciting to join along on, because they really did seem to be grace under fire.
It wasn't all fun 'n games though. Number one son has been in a major batting slump this season, and no amount of apples and sugar cubes and the like could get this horse to drink from the trough. The most discouraging thing was watching him beat himself up in the dugout and watching as the team began to segregate by season's end to the haves (top of the batting order) and have nots (benchwarmers).
He's done remarkably well, considering that this is only his second season of ball and most of the kids in these parts cut their teeth on a baseball bat. But it was still heart-wrenching to sit back as a parent and hear snide comments from his teammates or worse, watch them and their school friend groupies snub him while making sucky with their fellow A-list players instead.
Anyways, it really did come down to the final game of the season. Sixth inning, unlimited runs, one out, fastest pitcher in the wild west throwing Mach 500 strikes consistently, and numero uno son steps up to bat. I was crossing fingers, toes, knees and elbows while simultaneously trying to appear relaxed when he looked over at us.
And then lo and behold, his coach tells him to bunt, something my son loves to do above all else. And so he does. Un.believe.able. He hits the most beautiful, assured bunt - it was perfectomundo. But as luck would have it, the catcher managed to scoop it up quickly and zing it to first for the out. It was a great sacrificial play that kept the runners on base in the game and headed for home with the next batter and it was a great moment for him to finally get back in the game.
It was a great season, in which I learned a tremendous amount about games and the games people play, about myself as a parent and reluctant bystander, about my son and his spirit and tenacity, and about God's amazing providence.
But just when I thought it was over and could finally breath a big sigh of relief, I find out they now have city and regional tournaments to participate in. Why doesn't little league have a beer garden for us Type A parents? Zoiks!