For certain friends of ours, the four most exciting words in the English language are “Gentleman, start your engines.” At this place, my boys and I prefer another four words: “pitchers and catchers report.”
The Atlanta Braves pitchers and catchers are due to report to spring training next week. The equipment trucks are already en route to Florida in preparation. The rest of the team should follow soon after that. However, the Braves are reporting in this house beginning this weekend. Both my boys will be playing spring ball this season, Andrew in minor league, Christopher in t-ball. In both boys’ cases, the name of their team is the Atlanta Braves. Both have practices this Saturday.
For Christopher, it will be his second season. His team finished in the middle of the pack last spring and was ousted in the first two games of the playoffs. He is improved over last year and hopes to be able to hit the ball better. For Andrew, even though he is older than Christopher, it is first season. Last year, he wanted to play spring basketball, but we missed the sign up deadline. This left him unable to play basketball and we were too late to sign him up for baseball. He watched his brother’s games and ran the electronic scoreboard while I was the official scorekeeper for the team. This year, we got both of them signed up in time, meaning I will probably be scorekeeper for both teams this year.
I love watching my kids play sports and I hope they enjoy themselves, though I am nervous for Andrew as this is his first year. We’ve been working on throwing and catching, trying to get improve his techniques. We’ve also been working on pop flies, but he’s not yet good at catching them. I’ve been told that many kids have trouble with pop flies, but, given Andrew’s challenges, I don’t know if the trouble stems from his difficulties or just because he’s ten. (My wife says that his biggest problem is having a Dad that isn’t athletically inclined, which could also be the reason.)
I do know one thing. Both kids will improve. With the first practice game less than three weeks away, Andrew’s coach has scheduled four 90-minute practices per week. I think Christopher has two per week of the same duration, meaning that I will be at the ballpark a lot.
If I really consider writing as a hobby, then I will definitely have the time. Hopefully, I can keep the dust out of my laptop.