Baseball: America’s Favorite Pastime or Just a Mound of Dirt?

There are two things my husband is passionate about.

You might think I would say that they were his wife and his children.

You’d be wrong.

Although I know he loves us, he is enthusiastically, obsessively, and maniacally passionate about westerns and baseball (and of course football, as you may have read in my previous blog Why My Husband Scares the Crap Out of Our Kids).

When I got pregnant and received confirmation from the ultrasound that we were going to have a boy, I was absolutely thrilled. I’m not usually one to make sexist assumptions about gender roles, but I couldn’t wait to see our little Jake dressed up in a cowboy costume like Woody. But more importantly, and more lasting, I couldn’t wait to see him play baseball.

I got my wish a couple of weeks ago when I signed Jake up for Toluca Baseball. He was to join a group of 11 other 4 to 6-year old boys by participating in our nation’s favorite pastime.

I envisioned Tom coaching the team, helping the boys perfect their throw, giving them tips on how to hit a ball that would sail over the shortstop’s head, and Jake’s gleaming smile as he rounded the bases and stepped on home plate.

I did not get my dream come true.

We have two boys on our team who have played in a league before. The rest are novices who had to be told the definitions of mitt and 1st base. They look forward to their snack more than a chance to bat, and they’d rather play in the dirt than play ball.

Jake’s no exception.

He throws the ball as if he’s aiming for a gopher two feet in front of him.

He swings the bat slowly and gently as if he is Miss America waving in a parade.

He doesn’t run after the ball. He waits for it to roll by him, then he strolls over to where it stops and pounces on it. We have to remind him to throw the ball back to us.

He runs like he’s the Six Million Dollar Man speeding 60 mph in slow motion. I honestly don’t know how he defies the laws of gravity as he floats effortlessly through the air.

Our baseball team is all this – times 10. I’ve signed up to be the team parent, which means that I’m the good cop who gets to cheer them on when they hit the ball and the bad cop who has to wrangle them when they’re off in La La Land. As such, I have compiled a list of common commands:

Don’t play in the dirt.

Quit climbing the fence.

The bat is not a weapon.

Quit chewing your mitt.

Take your finger out of his nose.

No, it’s not snack time yet.

I told you, don’t play in the dirt.

Hey! Get out of their field! Our team is over here!

Run! Run! Run like you’re chasing after the ice cream truck!

 “Baseball stance” does not mean sitting on your butt.

Your mitt belongs on your hand – not your foot.

Your penis is supposed to stay inside your pants.

Don’t throw dirt!

Turn around and face the pitcher. The rest of you – face the batter.

Great hit!… No! Don’t chase after the ball! Run to 1st!

You’re bored? You can come to my house and clean my toilet if you want something to do.

Is that your phone? Where did you get it? Is that your purse?

Tag him! Tag him! Touch him with the ball! No – don’t throw the ball at him!

Hey! What’s that in your hand? Drop the dirt. Drop it. Drop it now!

It’s a bat. Not a golf club.

Quit picking the grass.

Get out of that tree!

Don’t push the runner off the base. He belongs there. You don’t.

You already had a turn. Yeah? Well, life’s not fair. You should learn that now when you’re 5 (no, I didn’t really say this. I thought of saying it though).

If I see you in the dirt again I’m going to move you.

Don’t cry. When we say “Run! Run!” we’re not yelling at you.

You’re playing right field. You don’t need a helmet.

Don’t fight over the ball!

Drop the bat. Don’t carry it to 1st.

You found it on the ground? Take it out of your mouth.

All of you! Stay out of the dirt!

We’ve got two more months before the closing ceremony.  I think the Toluca Baseball commissioners are going to need to order one thing for the big occasion to make these kids happy:

More dirt.


Filed under Anxiety, Baseball, Kids, Parenting

7 responses to “Baseball: America’s Favorite Pastime or Just a Mound of Dirt?

  1. well appreciate this time kevin played shetland,, until kids ptich and fall ball.. when it is more completive and serious.. it is great but hard on the kids who is not a good hitter or cant through with all those eager parents ready to coach them along… the little guys are the best half dont even understand the game.. to run and are just proud to do something cool like be on a baseball or soccer team..

  2. My Tom heard me roaring with laughter (over and over) all the way from the 2nd floor (I’m on the third). He will no doubt immediately want to hear what I think is so funny. Once he finds out that it is yet again an A+ for Cathy’s blog posting he will trip over stuff to read it himself. I have an added advantage. Having raised 3 kids who played Little League or whatever the female version of that was (youngest daughter Teri wasn’t interested in baseball, she was busy thinking about ballet), I can relate to all of Cathy’s comments and it’s all brought back happy memories. Yeh! Go Jake!

  3. Kathryn Baldwin

    Cathy, welcome to Little League and organized sports for children, by that I mean the parents. The parents who actually show up, are much more entertaining than anything that is going on, on the field. They have dreams of their sons playing professional baseball and most of the time, are really dreaming of themselves playing professional baseball. They didn’t make it but, by God their son is going to ,whether he wants to or not!
    I enjoyed all of our years of organized sports with our children and now with our grandchildren. It was fun, stressful and entertaining. I have coached, kept score, was team mother more times than I care to count. I wouldn’t change any of those experiences.

  4. Anonymous

    Game day is like herding cats. I am so exhausted by the time the game ends. The constant micromanaging of the kids. I pitch to our team when we are up and I coach in the field when the other team is up. T-ball allows coached in the field for defense instruction. I pray the other team hits the ball right away. The longer it takes for them to hit the ball the mor times I have to say, “get ready” or “get in your baseball stance” or “get out of the dirt.” My favorite moment was when the ball was hit to right field and as turned to give the player direction, I saw he was not there. Our right fielder had run into the dugout. The games last 1 1/2 hours. I am so tired by the end of the game. I think next week I will bring a blanket and take a nap after the game while the kids eat their post game snack.

  5. James

    I have to say I love my wife and son very much. I am a big western fan and I also love baseball. Westerns and baseball are my favorite pastimes. However my real passion is my faith and ministry.

  6. bellesogni

    I love to watch the kids play and I really love to watch the parents as the kids play!

  7. Pingback: The Mom Olympics | very VERY busy mom

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