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Perry League’s ‘Busy, busy, busy’ field

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By Coach Jimmy Chesire

Mira Carpe, 5, was back at the tee. A quiet child in our often-chaotic T-ball world, Mira was strong at the tee and she raced to first as fast as a jackrabbit in front of a prairie fire. Julia Canard, 7, helped me at the tee, getting balls — sometimes giving one to me — and telling kids to drop their bats and run once they hit the ball off the tee. Julia’s lively, sparkling, high-spirited personality kept me entranced and on my toes.

Elijah Schaffnit, 5, is a terrific ball player, chasing after every ball hit in his direction. He told his mom, Daria, that T-ball is the best and he thought they should stay at Gaunt Park “forever.” Thanks, Elijah. I feel the same way.

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Oscar Ebersold, 5, and his brother Jasper, 6, continued to be avid infielders and batters of some renown. I mean, they were good — really good.

Luke Miller, 7, a beautiful boy and phenomenal athlete, told me his dad said he, Luke, had to ask me if he could bat more than once. He plays in the Minor League and hits the ball hard and fast. He said his dad told him we should warn kids in the infield of his prowess, and I agreed. We let him hit several times, and everyone and everything was fine. Laurelai Myers, 5, was back and handled the bat well — it was as long as she was tall. She got decent hits every time she batted and flew off to first as fast as a hummingbird darting to your backyard feeder. Mateo Valdez-Malishenko, 5, was a strong batter and a quick-footed fielder. His grandfather, Tucker Malishenko, was on the diamond taking pictures of Mateo and his older brother Sebastian, 9, one of our natural athletes, a thrill to watch and play ball with.

Louise Canard, 9, and her partner-in-crime Aleta Bradtmiller, 8, created a ball game of their own within our T-ball game. They chased after balls hit or thrown into the field by Kyle Ficke and his gang of ball-throwers on the first base line — they usually throw 6-7-8 balls into the field after the batter hits her ball off the tee. Louise and Aleta gathered two, three, even four balls on their every excursion into the infield. But then, instead of a giving the balls to me or Margi Gay as we helped kids hit, they took the balls they’d gathered to our equipment bag at the fence behind home plate and stuck them in the bag. Then they sat on them — Aleta literally sat on the bag. Delighted immensely with their cleverness — “Where are the balls? I need a ball,” I would say — Aleta was bursting with joy over the “disappearing baseballs” mystery she and Louise had created.

Allie Amend, 6, was with us for the fourth week in a row. Thank you, Allie. David Badger, 6, graced the diamond with his proud, quite athletic self. Erin Fink, 10, showed her usual competence and creativity — she’d stopped ground balls with her foot, and if there were others going for the same ball, she’d quickly and adroitly kick that ball away toward the grasses of the outfield, where she usually had the ball all to herself. Henry Badger, 2, joined us and managed to hit the ball off the tee — no mean feat when that tee was as tall as he was. His sister Leyna Badger, 7, was with us, too. She, a budding beauty, was poised and strong at the bat, hitting well and fast, only needing three swings to get a hit.

Violet Ficke, 6, batted only once or twice. She preferred to spend her time with her little sister Amber, 3, and a gang of others – Thea Brevik, 5, Willa Ewalt, 3, Antonia Varandani-Smith, 7, Mateo Valdez-Malishenko, 5 – all of them forming a rectangular-shaped group sitting and squatting in the dust, moving it, piling it, shaping it, keeping their hands in that dust the whole 30 minutes they owned this special T-ball dust gathering on the diamond.

Imogene Cowperthwaite joined us on what turned out to be her fifth birthday, an especially thrilling thing for her and us. Rocket Cowperthwaite, 9, was busy, busy, busy, throwing and catching and throwing some more. The wonderful Bistline clan was with us — Ella, 5, Parker, 5, and their quite handsome and sophisticated big brother Brody, 9. Rowan Arthur, 8, played some fine T-ball with us, his energy high as he flew around the diamond. Liam Jones, 5, a steady, reliable t-ball player joined us for the fourth time, as did Zaria Triplett, 7, another energy dynamo and happy, happy beautiful child. Racing to the right field light pole for our final run of the night was Aiden Scott, 4, Josey Boyer, 3, Evelyn Schmidt, 5, the deer-like Ryley Sawdey, 8, and newcomer darling — who did not want to leave the diamond and glorious dust when everyone else had gone home — Oliver “Oly” Johnson-Fairlie, 4. Cameron Richeson, 8, and Elias Boland, 6, two of the fastest runners in town, beat everyone on the way out and on the way back home.

And that’s our wonderful, often surprising, Perry League, Yellow Springs’ T-ball program for kids 2–9 years of age, regardless of their race, color, creed, sexual orientation, ethnicity, spiritual inclination or practice, ability or disability. We’ll be out there Friday night at Gaunt Park from 6:30 to 8 p.m., and this Friday, July 30, will be our final night of the 2021 season. We will have a shortened evening of play, followed by our annual wiener roast potluck-picnic, after which we will award a golden Perry League trophy to every girl and boy who is there. It’s a joyful and marvelous way to end the season. Why don’t you come join us? You might enjoy a hot dog with us and marvel at the radiance of the children clutching their trophies.

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