Monday, September 15, 2008
After years of playing catch, throwing a ball on the roof, batting around the back yard, and running imaginary basepaths, my older son decided he was ready for organized baseball. We decided to try the "easier" option available to his age group, Machine Pitch. We figured we'd ease him into it, without erratic 8 year-olds pitching at his head to complicate matters. Due to league disorganization and some poorly-timed rain, they managed only one practice before their first game. Suffice it to say, the first time facing the unsympathetic machine was a disaster for my son. My mother (aka "Grammy") pointed out that with a machine, you just don't get the visual cues you get from a live pitcher: windup, coming to a set, arm moving toward you, release point of the ball. Anyway, Derek approached his first real game with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. He's always been an agile and enthusiastic fielder, but the batting was a question mark. I was enormously relieved when he returned home, however, as he was jumping up and down with glee while reporting on his "game stats": 5 for 6 at the plate, 4 RBI, 2 Runs scored, 2 unassisted putouts at1B, one at 3B, would have turned a DP if the First Baseman hadn't dropped the throw (which my husband assured me was right to him). AND he had gotten to play under the lights, since it was a night game. Almost too much joy for one little 3rd grader to handle! So, overall, a wildly successful first experience, restoring confidence and harmony in our sporting world. Now I'd better go make a small offering to the baseball gods for their benevolence : ).