Jul
22
2017
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Saturday
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Sunday
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Sports

T-Ball: Blasting Coach and other adventures

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Erin Fink, 5, between stupendous fielding and near perfect at-bat T-ball hitting took it upon herself to make sure Tanner Miller, 6, would take his bat home.

“You know the ‘Star Wars’ bat?” she asked me.

“Yes.”

“It belongs to this boy,” she said, but she didn’t know his name.

“Well, point him out to me when you see him,” I said. Which she did 20 minutes later. “It’s him,” she said pointing to Tanner sitting on the bench. Tanner? Yes, she nodded. Okay. Thank you.

When the evening was finished, Tanner announced he was taking his bat home, only he said it with some misgiving, with a certain trepidation: would we let him do it? Would we trust him? But with Erin’s eagle eye, her advance warning, and her sensitive, caring nature, her desire to ensure Tanner got his bat, we knew everything was on the up and up. We knew it was his bat. And of course he should take it home.

Sydney Fisher, 3, about as tall as your nearest fire hydrant, was, in her scarlet shorts, as beautiful as a red red rose in full bloom in June. She hit the ball off the tee with but two or three swings — a major feat for a first-year 3-year-old — and then raced in a beeline to first. A “beeline,” by the way, was a rarer thing this night as several of our Perry Leaguers chased after the ball they’d just hit; or turned around and headed back to the bench; or simply stood there at the plate, fascinated and transfixed by all the activity their single hit had caused in the field in front of them.

Josie Noble, 6, and his younger brother Keegan, 4, were eager and animated fielders. They would move in close to me at the plate, coming, say, within six feet of me, and then they’d fire the balls they had fielded at me as hard and as fast as they could. This “zing-the-coach” approach became quite popular as Desmond Truitt, 5, Zach Fink, 6, Corbin Hyatt, 4, and Eden Larkowski, 4, all closed in on me and then fired at will!

To our psychologists out there: tell me, what is this phenomenon? I am the coach, I am bigger than them, I am in charge, I love them, but when they get a ball in their hands and I am standing there asking them to throw it to me, to throw it back to me, they are, on occasion, compelled to blast me.

Rocket Cowperthwaite, 5, one of our many naturally gifted athletes, was so good in the field he was like a vacuum cleaner — any ball within reach, which was six feet to his left, six feet to his right, and six feet in front of him, it got sucked right up. Zoop!

Ashby Lyons, 7, another terrific athlete — he runs well, fields excellently, bats like a much older boy — was as happy as a poor man with a bag of gold the whole time he was on the diamond collecting balls. He’d field one, grab a second one he spied and chased down, scooped up a third and received a fourth, and then, with a satisfied-and-deliriously-happy-I-gotcha look on his face, he walked nonchalantly about the field, his arms full of balls. What was he doing? Looking for a fifth ball? Looking for the camera?

And that’s the Perry League, Yellow Springs’ all volunteer, 10-week T-ball program for girls and boys, 2–9 years of age. It’s the village’s non-competitive, beginner’s baseball program for all our community’s children regardless of their race, color, creed, sexual orientation, ethnicity, spiritual inclination or practice, ability or disability. We will be at Gaunt Park every Friday night from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Children can begin to play at any time and there’s no requirement to come every week — come when you like, come when you can. We’ll be out there for the next seven Friday nights, ’til our final potluck trophy-to-every-kid-who-shows-up night, Aug. 4. So why don’t you come on out and let our kids throw some baseballs at you? You might like it. Then again, you might not.

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T-Ball: Blasting Coach and other adventures

by Jimmy Chesire