Perry League: 2017 T-ball season ends in song
- Published: August 10, 2017
The last night of T-ball is especially wonderful because of the great turnout — we had 50 children and 150 adults — and because of the festivities. There was an over-stacked potluck with hot dogs vegan and not, lemonade, salads galore, casseroles left and right, fruit sliced, diced and piled high, chips of every shape and flavor and desserts to die for — like the homemade brownies so thick and rich you might be endangering your life to eat just one. And with the children, as with all T-ball nights, it is always an evening of surprise.
Such as the development two Fridays back of the fence-climbing brigade — last week, July 28, it was Rocket Cowperthwaite, 5, Evan Botkin, 5, Lily Marie Brown, 5, and Natalia Ramirez, 5, scaling the eight-foot high chain-link fence that encircles our outfield. This week, our potluck picnic and trophy night, it was 20 of the first 24 kids who ran out to the right field for warm-up exercises. There is no way I can keep up with these perpetual motion running machines we think of as our children — they run, they fly. I walk, thank you. So I arrive and here are 20 of these children clinging to and climbing that chain-link fence.
“Can we climb the fence?” Ian Miller, 8, always thoughtful and careful, asks. “Sure,” I say, and then stand and marvel at the mind-boggling and spectacular energy of these kids as nearly every one of these darling maniacs gives climbing that fence a go.
If you can imagine some giant, like the one in “Jack and the Beanstalk,” with a huge cartoon-like shotgun whose ammunition is T-ball-aged children; if you can imagine this giant blasting that chain link fence with his shotgun full of his children-ammunition; then you can imagine what that fence looked like: a fence that had been splattered with living, screaming, deliriously happy children, each child — now squint your eyes so you can see it — each child a blasted splat from that giant’s shotgun. And very happy, frothing, falling-climbing, falling-climbing again, splats of children.
But there was more, another lovely surprise that came when we finally gathered away from that overwhelmingly compelling chain-link fence to actually do some warm up exercises. Tanner Miller, 6, asked if we could sing “Take Me Out to The Ball Game,” which we had sung a couple weeks earlier with volunteer coach Rob Gay, an ardent Cleveland Indians fan, leading the way. “I don’t know the words,” I said, but Lily Miller, 11, said, “I know one.” “Yes?” She nodded and then, in the din of 30 children talking, chattering, and kibitzing all at once, Lily began singing the national anthem.
“Oh-oh, say can you see!”
Margi Gay, a volunteer coach with a heart of gold, shepherded the talking-yakking kids into a circle about Lily. “Listen,” Margi said. And they did. As did I. And that marvelous child sang the whole song a cappella, hitting all those notoriously high and difficult notes.
“And the rockets red glare.”
Lily was wonderful and so was the rest of our evening, culminating in a delicious potluck picnic, followed by the awarding of the golden Perry League trophies to all the children present.
Thank you, all you children, all you kids, all you rapscallions, who come play with us. Thank you, all you parents and grandparents, all you aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, cousins, nieces and nephews, for giving us your time and love and joyful support. Thank you, all you fabulous and terrific volunteer coaches who dare to jump into the drink with us, who dare to venture out into that sea of the frothing joy and desire that is the Yellow Springs Perry League. And thank you, all our many loving friends near and far who come to watch, who find us in the Yellow Springs News or on Facebook at “Perry League T-ball.” We run into you at Tom’s, at the Emporium, at the Yellow Springs Hardware store, on Xenia Avenue downtown, and your kindness and attentiveness and good cheer fuels and sustains our seemingly mad T-ball way of life. We are grateful to you and hope to see you all here, there, everywhere, as we plan to do this all over again next summer.