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Loving the mud, and T-ball

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It was cloudy and rainy Friday night, June 8, our second night of T-ball. It had poured heavily for five minutes at 6:10 p.m., but it was not raining at 6:30 p.m., our start time. Cloudy. Ominous skies. But no rain. Our policy has been: “If it isn’t raining at 6:30 p.m., we play ball.” And that policy includes a lightning clause: “If we see any lightning, we call it a night. We pack up and go home.”

But because of the chancy weather Friday night, I found even more reason to love this program that I already adore. It’s cloudy. It has rained off and on for the 45 minutes preceding our night on the diamond. But it is not raining at 6:20 p.m. and guess what? Even though the weather sucks, even as it is threatening to rain, these amazing stalwarts, these T-ball people — the children, their moms, their dads, their grandmas, their grandpas, their aunts, their uncles, their big sisters, their big brothers, and the half a dozen T-ball volunteers — we show up!

“If it rains?” Tommy Moore, 10, asks.

“We don’t care about a little rain,” Rebecca Reed, ace volunteer, says.

“We like playing in the mud,” Margi Gay, another ace volunteer, says.

Sarah Badger, her three-year-old David sitting in the dirt near home base, agreed: “We like the mud.”

This willingness, even eagerness, to play in the mud thrills me in a such a large way that I probably should talk to a psychologist about it – like, “What is my problem, loving to play in the mud so much?”

Pat Partee and his wonderful wife, Jeannine, who volunteered and coached and kept our books for 18 years, show up with two and a half of their five and a half grandchildren – their oldest daughter Janine, is radiant. She carries that “half” child, as she is several months pregnant. 

“The children loved the mud,” Pat says, and the lovely Janine says he should know because, she said, Pat continued to volunteer long after she and her sister Liza had outgrown the program. 

Layla Besson comes up to me beaming gloriously. She has a 2-and-a-half-year-old in her arms. “You remember him?” she asks, nodding to the handsome young man standing behind her. “Russel Besson?” she says to remind me. “I do remember you,” I say. “I remember your face. Only you were knee high to a grasshopper back then.” He nods. He is 13 now. He was a fantastic T-ball player back in the day — I found him on two of our rosters for summer 2002 and summer 2003. He and Layla say they loved T-ball and I say thanks and that we loved it and them, too.

Then, as we started to put out the bases, there was a phenomenally bright and hotly electric flash of lightning. It was so white and so bright it was almost unreal. It was a little like being in an animated movie. 

We all saw it, regretted it, but wisely, and lovingly, called it a night. 

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. And, weather permitting, 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 trying to have as much fun as we can for the next eight Friday nights, till our final wiener roast potluck trophy-to-every-kid-who-shows-up night, Aug. 3. So why don’t you come on out and play some ball with us? We’d love to have you, we really would. 


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