Sports
Mateen Sajabi led an enthusiastic group of T-ball players out on the field at a recent game. The season winds up this Friday, 6:30 p.m., with a potluck and trophy give-away. (photo by Suzanne Szempruch)

Mateen Sajabi led an enthusiastic group of T-ball players out on the field at a recent game. The season winds up this Friday, 6:30 p.m., with a potluck and trophy give-away. (photo by Suzanne Szempruch)

T-ball’s sweet, goofy monster

Sophia Purdin, 3, has a flower tattoo painted on her face. She walks right up to me, her eyes shining, lifting her hands so they are as high as her ears. Then with her palms facing me, her fingers curled so each hand looks like a claw, she growls at me, pinching and flexing her fingers and says, “I am a dragon.”

Bryce Fleming, 4, zooms up to me laughing and roaring, a Batman mask drawn, all in black, on his face. It covers his cheeks, surrounds his eyes, and runs all the way across his forehead. “I’m Batman!” he exclaims and then flies off to rescue someone.

There is some sort of monster thing going on. I am at the plate with Matthew Drummond, 6, when a buzzing whirring chain-saw-howling sound distracts me– a helicopter coming to land? A giant red combine harvesting? An invasion from Wright Patt? It is loud, it fluctuates, sounds ominous. I try to discern it, what it is and from whence it comes, and here is Amy Boblitt, one of our steadiest staunchest most loving parent volunteer coaches, sitting in the grass in front of the bench filled with T-ball players waiting their turn to bat. Children sit on the ground on either side of her as well. She is surrounded and they are all roaring, roaring, roaring, making a fabulous horror-movie kind of ruckus – it is Sophia Purdin, Lucy De Finis, 3, Alex Hamilton, 5, Lila Crockett, 4, Alannah Calfee, 5, Maggie Bullock, 3, Veda Rainey, 3. The complete and utter abandon of this monster-gang is astonishing, palpable. Amy’s monster.

The I-am-a-dragon-gonna-eat-you-alive-chorus will disband and then re-materialize two or three more times over the course of the evening.
Erasmus “I am a goat head” Thornton, 5, is again a strong, solid young athlete. The precision of his skills and his 100% commitment is gratifying, a pleasure to witness. Tommy Moore, one of our home run hitters, always raises the tee as high as it will go. “Is that as high as it goes?” he asks every time. Even when I say, “Yes, it is,” he checks it himself. He’s a charming, social boy, remembering everyone’s name (which we think is very important in the Perry League), and is always open to becoming your friend. Elijah Yelton, 6, hitting one home run after another, is another very interesting boy and fine athlete: “Can you put my picture on the front page?” he asks towards the end of the evening, reminding me of one reason why I like him so much – I want the same thing. “I’ll ask them if they could,” I tell him, which is good enough for him. Maddy McGuire, 5, is a loving and enthusiastically expressive child giving me hugs every Friday night – there is no tonic quite so restorative, quite so healing, as a young child’s spontaneous gift of love and affection. Thank you, Maddy. You make me whole. Teagon Hays, 7, is back – he’s another strong boy hitting the ball over kids’ heads – which almost nobody ever does in T-ball. And he’s a good boy, generous-hearted and gentle – and handsome to boot!

Twins Henry and Lucy Geis, 6, thank me at the end of the night, both being quite naturally polite and considerate. An impressive and very pleasant thing. Lucy, a Hollywood-Glamour magazine beauty in pink, is built like an artist’s version of The Very Beautiful Princess, and then, when she smacks the ball, her power, coordination, and batting skills are astounding.

“Watch me run,” Maggie Bullock says, and I do. “Watch me do a backflip,” Bryce Fleming says, and I do. “I’m a dragon,” Sophia Purdin says, and she is. And Amy Boblitt has that ten-headed monster-I’m-gonna-eat-you-alive T-ballers chorus a roaring and howling again.

And that’s our Perry League, Yellow Springs’s T-ball program for girls and boys ages 2–9. We’re open to all our community’s children regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, ability or disability, sexual or spiritual or religious orientation. We’ll be out there at Gaunt Park from 6:30 to 8 p.m. for one more Friday night — this coming Friday night, August 8, will be our season’s finale. We will have a shortened evening of play followed by a wiener roast potluck picnic — at the end of which we will award every child who shows up one of our golden Perry League trophies. It’s always a wonderful night and a lovely way to end another great T-ball season, so why don’t you come on out and join us? They will be plenty of food, lots of friendly people, both big and small, and a ton of joy being spread in every direction, enough for everyone, yes-sir-ee.

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