I haven’t had a lot of time to blog about baseball but we certainly have been involved with alot of it! I will review some of the lessons we have learned this year – sorted by child.
After a year in Buddy ball last spring and a great fall in the regular Fall League, I enrolled Matt into the regular league for this year. He was excited to start and find out what team he was on. I discussed his history with the coach who confirmed that they would work with Matthew and make sure that he had a great time.
He has been very excited the entire season and has really come a long way. His batting “swing” has improved about 100%. His first few at-bats, he swung at every pitch. He connected a few times but mostly struck out. His coach and I have been working with him to watch and decide which throws are good and which aren’t and he has been practicing in the back yard with Riley. Then he went through a stage where he was banging the plate in between each pitch and not swinging at any of them. The last two games though, he really seems to be recognizing which pitches are too high and swinging at others.
Two games ago, he actually was walked! He was so excited and the team was down by two runs when he got on base – with one out and one man on second. The next hitter up hit a line drive to the outfield. The boys RAN all the way round the bases except that Matthew was so excited he missed stepping on third base! The other coach got the catcher to throw it back to third and Matthew was out! But the game was tied. Up next was the best hitter on the team who crushed a hit to right field and they won the game.
The last game, Matthew got up with the team down by 4 runs and 2 outs in the inning. The first three balls were over his head and I though he would walk. The next ball he swung at and missed. The next ball he swung at and hit. A short liner to mid third base line which caught everyone by surprise. By the time the pitcher collected the ball and threw it to first, Matthew was to the bag and beyond it.
The next pitch was wild and Matthew easily stole second. Then the team got on fire. It was as if seeing Matthew get a hit (the first hit of the game) made them realize they could too. The next hit brought Matthew home. He practically jumped on 3rd! and then as he slid into home, he got back up and stomped on it! The team rebounded and scored 6 runs in that inning and were unstoppable after that.
Matthew was beaming and – the best part for me – was that the next time he got up the entire team started chanting
“Extra, Extra, read all about it, Matthew’s gonna jack it, No doubt about it”
This team has been really good to him. I am so thankful to them for the tolerance and acceptance that they are showing to him – and it is so cool that he gets to be part of a winning team.