Tuesday, October 16, 2012

An Unusual Obsession

Baseball is a sport that requires a bit of equipment.  At the bare minimum, a player needs a glove and a bat.  Add cleats, sliding shorts, batting gloves, a protective cup, a helmet, and a cap and you have a list of essentials that most players would consider complete.  J isn't most players.  My son has an obsession with owning as much baseball equipment as he possibly can.  Let's take a brief look at the list of equipment J currently owns:  two wooden bats, an aluminum bat, and a bbcor bat, a catcher's mitt, first baseman's mitt(this one is his pride and joy, it's a beauty)a fielder's mitt, a couple pair of batting gloves, an equipment bag large enough for A to take up residence in, numerous pairs of sliders, pants, socks, belts, caps, and jerseys, cleats, turf shoes, three titanium sports necklaces, numerous power bands and wrist bands, a shin guard, a wrist guard, a compression sleeve(that has permanently taken on the odor of a dead sea otter) a batting helmet, and a complete set of catcher's gear.  I think that's everything.  For the moment.

Does he truly need all of this stuff?  The honest answer is no.  And I would like to add that I am not the one who buys it all.  Yes hubby and I buy a fair amount of equipment for him.  But we tend to stick to essentials like bats, gloves, and cleats. He turns on the charm for my mom who buys him the rest of it.  I tell her he doesn't need it, but she enjoys doing it so I've given up.   J is like a little kid turned loose in a candy shop when new baseball catalogs arrive in the mail.  He pores over them, circling things he'd like to have, as well as some things he simply finds humorous, especially if he thinks an item will get a good reaction out of Coach C, who likes to give J grief over his equipment obsession.  There have been countless hours of amusement  over J's shin guard.  Coach C insists that there's no need for it since J has only once, in all the years he's played, ever taken a ball to the shin.  That happened just a few weeks ago and J gleefully told Coach C about it when we saw him.  J's argument is that there is a need for the shin guard now that he's been hit.  Coach C said it didn't count since he hadn't been there to see the ball hit J's shin.   The two of them enjoy going round and round on this topic.

So does J really use all this stuff?  Yes, he does.  He loves decking himself out in all his wrist bands, sleeves, necklaces, etc before a game. He has come to realize that Coach C is right in saying that all that stuff weighs him down running bases, so he usually takes a lot of  it off when a game actually starts.  He just enjoys the ritual of it all.  That and messing with Coach C.  As for his bats and gloves, those he does use with regularity.  In fact, he needs a new bbcor bat before spring season.  Since a new bat is a serious investment, I turned to Coach C for some advice and our conversation ended up being the inspiration for this post.  Christmas is coming and I'm sure J's stocking will be filled with baseball stuff.  Some of it needed and some of it just for the sheer pleasure it brings him.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Our Life in Pictures

Things have been so busy since school started that I've really fallen behind on my blogging.  I'm hoping to be able to get back to regular posting soon, but in the meantime, I thought it might be fun to share some of my favorite pictures from the last several months.  So here goes:  our summer in pictures.

 This is A in her sparkly TP shirt that my friend C made for her.  She wore this outfit to the majority of the games over the summer.  She's convinced it's a good luck charm for the team.

 A and Coach C's pregame ritual.  He hit her ground balls before every game she attended.

 Is she the cutest bat girl ever or what?

I just love this picture of my sassy princess.

 My all time favorite picture of A and Coach C.   She has this one in a frame on her night table.

 A competed in her first swim meet in July.  Here she is swimming butterfly.

 This was J's game changing hit in TP's championship game.

 Here he is at first base after his awesome hit.  That's Coach K with him.

 Coach C presenting J with his championship medal.

 After the big win.

 N playing mini golf in St. Augustine.

 N and cousin M

 This is hubby and I with Cousin B at her high school graduation.

 Hubby and Coach C during an intense chess game at our hotel in Jupiter.

 N doing duty as bat boy during the Junior Olympics tournament.

Most of the family at cousin B's graduation.

So there you go.  A sampling of my favorite pictures from the summer.  I'll get back to regular posting soon, but in the meantime I hope you enjoy this peek into our family album.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Baseball and Little Girl Dreams

This weekend was another busy one, with J having four games.  The first two on Saturday were for the high school's fall team.  Then yesterday the TP fall team traveled about 2 1/2 hours to play against a community college team.  J was excited about that for two reasons.  First the opportunity to play against a college team was both a thrill and a challenge.  Second, this college is located in the same town as Coach C's university, which meant we'd get to see him.  He doesn't coach the team in the fall.  With the distance and his school schedule it just isn't practical.   The owner of TP takes over during the fall, and while I do think he does a wonderful job, we can't wait for Coach C's return to the field next summer.

We had a great day, that started off with breakfast with Coach C.  He had plans for the afternoon and was unable to attend the games, but we left home early so we could spend time with him beforehand.  Following our breakfast reunion, we headed over to the nearby college field so J could take batting practice and get warmed up with the team.  I'd like to report that TP blew their opponent off the field, but I'd be fibbing.  This team was quite good, and presented TP with a very big challenge.  They unfortunately lost both games.  However, the experience was a valuable one.  J himself had both good and bad aspects of his game.  His hitting was off.  He had two strikeouts, a ground out, and a fly out.  While disappointed he didn't make a better showing, he says getting the chance to face quality college pitchers was worth it.  It enabled him to see what the game is like at the next level so he can work on improving his own skills in order to be ready.  Fielding he actually did pretty good.  He played right field and first base, making some good plays at both positions.  Those fielding mechanics have come a long way  since the start of the summer when he was having his difficulties.   Our friends  K and K were able to join us with their children for the second game, making an already good day even nicer.

Of course, A was thrilled to see Coach C yesterday.  It's been about six weeks since he returned to school and she's been missing him.  She still has a huge crush on him, and is actively planning their wedding again.  I always take him a care package when we visit, so this time she wanted to get involved.  She made him a little cake in her Easy Bake Oven, frosted it, and had me pack it carefully with the other goodies we had for him.  Saturday night she was so excited we had a hard time getting her into bed, and from the moment she opened her eyes yesterday, she was full of energy and excitement.  I lost count of how many times she asked if we were almost there yet.  We beat Coach C to the restaurant by about three minutes and she anxiously kept watch for him.  He greeted her with a big bear hug and from that moment on she was attached to his hip.  She kept up a running chatter during breakfast, and was thrilled when he ate the cake she made for him and told her it was delicious.  Later on she told me that was the best part of her day.  Honestly, I don't know when this crush of hers will start to fade.  She absolutely adores Coach C and has been telling me lately that I need to let her marry him before he becomes an old man.  I just laugh and tell her she can't get married til she grows up.    Her response is usually eye rolling along with some exasperated sighing.  Maybe one of these times I should ask her when she'd like me to schedule the wedding  just to see her reaction.  Although knowing A, she might take me seriously and try to drag Coach C to the altar!    I admit watching her innocent pursuit of Coach C still makes me laugh, especially because it freaks hubby out a bit, her being his baby girl and all.  Coach C, as always, is a champion, taking it all with good humor.  After all,  A has him wrapped as tightly around her sassy little finger as she does the rest of us.  A is already asking me when we'll see Coach C again, and even though I don't have an answer for her yet, she's happily making plans and dreaming her little girl dreams.