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Youth

From left: At a recent Perry League game, Elsie lounged on first base. Octavia, on the other hand, remained perfectly upright after making it to the bag. Phelix and Theo enjoyed some chilly treats on the bench, and Ronan proudly stood atop second base. (Submitted photos)

Perry League | T-ballers shine in the ‘dog days’

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By Coaches Rob and Margi Gay and Yunus Brevik

Now that the Fourth of July is past, we have reached the point in the season referred to as “the dog days of summer,” a time of year when the sun has the greatest effect on our lives; an eternal source of energy that provides light and heat. Midsummer is a period of abundance — one filled with growth, hope and promise. Evidence is the rapid growth of corn in our nearby corn fields and the sunflowers in the Breviks’ front yard. Summer sunshine is a force so strong that it has the ability to lift our spirits. The sun offers hope of delivering all of the world’s energy needs; without it, life as we know it would fail to exist.

Friday night’s T-ball contest was like those preceding this season, having in common a field overflowing with sunshine! And each one of the Perry League players in attendance projected that light.

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We as humans have the ability to project that energy source — it can be cast out through our words and actions, and is especially powerful when it’s directed by our heart.

Adults often unintentionally limit the light they project, doing so in measured amounts sometimes obscured by our life experiences. Our T-ball players’ inner sunlight does not have such limits! Each child’s ray of sunshine is witnessed patrolling the field of play. Each little being that graced the field displayed this light in unique and wonderful ways, each child a beam of light projecting kindness, joy and enthusiasm as they played the game.

Our program begins with a warm-up period, a ritual we perform in the outfield. Now that we’re past the halfway point of the season, our current team knows the routine well: Racing at a pace nearing the speed of light, the kiddos ran to the right field fence for arm swings, bear crawls, etc. with Coaches Yunus and Rob, with various family members’ assistance — thank you! Then our sunny group of T-ballers ran back to the field.

On our way back from the fence, Grandpa Steve and Emberlee discussed her recent hair cut. The visit to a hair salon was presumably in response to the classic self-bang-cut Emberlee had given herself the week prior.

Kids selected whatever hit their fancy: batting or fielding, or field dirt and chalk excavation.

Kristoff was the first batter of the evening. He used the flame bat reportedly because he was “on fire and we’d better beware — he’s a hard hitter!” True to his word, Kristoff’s hit was solid and a great start to July’s first Perry League game. When Kristoff arrived at first base, a guess at his age being 10 was met with the response: “No, I am 7 but grow fast even though I don’t like vegetables!” Ongoing discussion revealed that his favorite food is Hamburger Helper.

Miss Miles, 2, was our next hitter, sporting a black Reds Joey Votto jersey. We love those Reds too, girl!

Teddy, 5, termed his “The Ultimate Bat.” Teddy felt so positive about his bat choice, he carried it to first base after a very nice hit!

Josie reinforced her great T-ball hit with a nice stride to first base in her lovely Cincinnati Reds dress.

Naomi, 9, and sister, Havah, 6, were here for the first time this year but proved they’re no rookies with their 2021 rainbow tie-dye Perry League shirts!

Sister and brother Camilla and Marty were next up and made the Burns’ family proud. Marty’s 360 degree swing was especially impressive.

Malcolm 9, and sister Millie 6, evidently had some kind of friendly sibling tussle prior to batting as they both had a good bit of grass in their thick, curly heads of hair. The first base coach helped pluck some of the strands of grass out before they ran off to second base.

Henry had a very good hit and screamed all the way to first — pure and sunny joy.

Trudy, 5, with her golden hair flowing out of her Perry League hat let us know her mom is going away, she didn’t know where or why but seemed a bit sad. After Trudy, her brothers, Harry and Chuck, were up to bat. Chuck is very calculating and sizes up the relation of the bat and ball several times before hitting. At each of their visits to first base, the boys were able to fill in some details regarding mom leaving: She is going away for 7 days to Chicago for work. Whew, glad she’s coming back. Chuck and Harry both had new haircuts. Chuck’s had a “fade” in the back that looks pretty cool.

Next up was Sid, 7, wearing checkered flag style shorts. When asked, she admitted they used to be pajama pants and really likes to wear them. We like them too, Sid!

Marco, 5, notified us his birthday is in seven days; and in eight days, it’s his birthday party. The theme? Baseball! We love it. Happy Birthday, Marco!

Sarah and I both admitted that we forgot to wear sunblock.

Aquilla, 2, who is big brother Oly’s mini-me, both with beautiful sun-kissed hair, made an appearance on-field this week and we were so glad.

Octavia, 2, had a backwards swing that totally counted — 1,000 strikes not necessary for this girl! Her very cute dress with multi-colored cows flowed as she ran to first base and then out to right field to visit a friend.

We were glad to see Mahni, 3, and family after a several-week hiatus.

Charlotte, 4, after two spins, had a great hit and we learned her birthday is next month.

Faryn, 3, chose to hit and run bases barefoot wearing a lovely sundress.

Elise, also 3, hit several times this sunny evening. When she arrived on base, Elise made big trampoline style hops. She pointed toward the pool to let us know where she swims this summer.

Ronan, an experienced T-baller, sported a very cool Pink Floyd T-shirt. He is going to camp for “two sleeps” and one of his favorite foods is oranges.

This week’s halftime treat was bomb pops; there was much, much discussion on the dreaded brain freeze they sometimes cause. Thanks to Nicole, Bryan, Clara and Alice for the patriotic treat.

We noticed some lively competition with several more seasoned players. They were very interested in who can hit harder and who got tagged on base. Some of the older kids were encouraged to go beyond the inner colorfully duct taped T-ball bases, and stretch to run the outlying baseball bases when they hit and ran the bases. These pre-Minor Leaguers thought that was pretty cool. It’s bittersweet to know some of these players will graduate to baseball next season.

Liam, shirtless with longish hair and bare feet — the epitome of surfer dude but location Yellow Springs — is an Astros Minor Leaguer. Liam helped keep the first baseline balls in check and goofed around with some of the older Perry Leaguers.

For those who haven’t visited our games, we have volunteers and/or older T-ball helpers that feed extra balls to the players from the 1st base side of the diamond. We do this to ensure that everyone that wants a chance, gets a chance to field balls.

That’s it for this week’s Yellow Springs Perry League T-ball, our all-volunteer program that is non-competitive, free, and open to children aged 2–9, regardless of their race, color, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, spiritual inclination or practice, ability or disability. We have three more games this season. Our final game on July 28th will include trophies for all children and a cookout. We hope to see you soon!

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