This week, my older son’s baseball team will play in the championship game for the 11- 12 age group in the Mill Creek area. My son is looking forward to it. He’s never been in a Championship game before.
My son has been playing sports for a few years. Unfortunately, he inherited his Dad’s athletic ability. (I think I’ve mentioned that before, but it bears repeating in his defense.) He tries hard and occasionally does good things. In the semifinal game, he made a great play in the outfield that helped save a run. He also got an RBI. Granted, that was from being hit by a pitch when the bases were loaded. Still, like any dad, I was proud.
One of the things my son is thinking about, if his team wins, is the trophy. Both my sons have received a lot of trophies already. They’ve played on various teams, had fun, and made good friends. After the season ended, the boys got trophies at whatever shindig/get-together the team organized.
Up until recently, the favorite trophy for both of them was the one each received for finishing second in the Cub Scout Pinewood Derby. They designed and built cars themselves. My older son made his car look like Bumblebee from the Transformer movie. My younger son made his look like the Mach 5 from the Speed Racer movie. They sanded, painted, and then I added weight to take the car up to the legal race limit. Why was the Pinewood Derby trophy their favorite? It’s because it represented winning. As much as each likes the trophies he has received for playing, it’s the winning that they remember.
Like I said, up until recently.
In the spring, my younger son’s team won the championship of their league. He now has a trophy he treasures above all the others, one of being a champion. Yesterday, after my son’s team won their semifinal match-up, I found out how envious my older son was of his brother’s success. “Dad, I hope we win the game. I want a championship trophy, just like my little brother has.”
As I told my wife, championships games don’t come around too often for players, whether little or big. I remember my feelings as a kid of winning and losing baseball and football championships. (I also remember never playing on a championship basketball team, though I did play on a couple of runner-up ones.) It was a special time. Winning isn’t everything, but sometimes it does carry extra weight. My kids have reminded me that, though they have fun, winning and the opportunity to be on a team and play for it all means a lot to them.
And they (my boys, that is) mean a lot to me.