Friday, June 15, 2007

To (Not) Catch a Thief

So we had a playoff game last night, away game. Mark played the first three innings, center field, then was put on the bench. (He has not played one full game all season, which has been a major source of irritation, because it smacks of favoritism, but I have to keep reminding myself that as soon as you have tryouts and people don't automatically make the team just because they registered, that the purpose of the game changes and it's a priority to win games. And that to do that, they will play their best players. Or their favorites. Little League has a minimum-play rule, and as long as they do that for Mark, I haven't got a real leg to stand on to complain. But it still sucks.) He had hit the ball during his one up, a nice solid crack to it, but they got it to first before he got there so he was out. Still, he made contact and I was pleased.

THEN. The top of the sixth, we're down 2 to 1. A kid got walked to first base, and then Mark was running out there and replaced him. Pinch runner! (I asked later why they put him in, and he shrugged and said, "I run fast.") Mark proceeded to steal second. Then stole third, politely dodging the third baseman, who was not getting out of the way. (and did not have the ball. Hello, obstruction!) And then, during a play in which the catcher missed the ball, and it was IN the home plate area, and there were NO other players on ANY other base (in other words, this was not a force run for Mark), he freakin' STOLE HOME. It was insane. There was dust flying, people screaming, those long legs were eating up the baseline, and he was sliding and SAFE!!!!! It was amazing, incredible, truly the high point of his season. He tied the game up, 2-2, and forced a last at-bat for the home team. Everyone was ecstatic. The boys were pounding Mark on the back, the helmet, hugging him, screaming, cheering, it was just fantastic. Mark was so pumped. He was chinning the doorway in the dugout.

The boys lost the game (2 outs & 2 strikes in, the other team's runner on third stole home also), but Mark had that shining moment to treasure. And so do I. mk

1 comment:

min said...

When my kids started taking an interest in sports, we found an organization call FFPS (Fun, Fair, Positive, Soccer). Everyone is put on a team, everyone is taught the rules, every player rotates position. Scoring is encouraged but score is not kept. Negative comments are not allowed (There are always parents breaking this rule!) It was a great experience for my kids. Of course, If you're trying to teach them to be competitive, then it's worthless.