Yesterday was the final game of the Aptos Little League. My son Aiden played with the Yankees – it’s only a farm league, so games are (usually) just 3 innings and nobody actually keeps score. I’ll come right out and say it – I know like next-to-nothing about baseball, never having myself been on a team growing up and only watching it on TV sporadically, mostly when the As or Giants are in the World Series.
Even so, I ended up being an assistant coach on the team, thanks to my friend Manny, the head coach, and our friend Uriah, another assistant coach. Manny does know all about baseball, having played it for years growing up. I didn’t end up teaching the kids much about baseball, I don’t think – and when I did, I just repeated whatever it was that Manny told them. But I did spend a lot of time (trying to) keep them in order (“no kissing, no kissing!”) when they were on the bench in their batting lineup, and trying to keep them focused on the ball when they were in the outfield.
Regardless of how much I or anyone is into baseball, being on the team is a pretty great experience. Take my son Aiden, for example – because I haven’t really spent much time throwing baseballs to him to hit or catch, and because he is one of the younger kids on the team, he was kind of toward the back of the pack when it came to hitting, catching, throwing, and running. And he was kind of bummed out about it. But I did practice with him (some) in our back yard, and coach Manny did work with him to help him learn these skills better. And he stuck with it. And he got better. And it was awesome to see.
All the kids got better throughout the season. It was just an amazing experience, watching them all grow and – and for the most part, have fun doing it.