Subscribe Anywhere

What heat? Perry League T-ballers revel in dirt

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The confluence of a Midwest heat dome and a rainless week made for dirty play at Perry League last Friday — but the young and intrepid T-ball enthusiasts didn’t let the dust settle on their energetic spirits. (Submitted photo)

Week three of Perry League and the first week of summer brought continued heat with the absence of rain in our area. As a matter of fact, a heat dome was covering much of the country, including Yellow Springs. And specific to Gaunt Park, we experienced extremely dry, dusty ball field conditions, which conjured up an image of a 1920’s-era dust bowl capped by a heat dome overhead. We’ve heard of a snow globe, but a dust globe? Given these conditions, the decision was made to make T-ball optional, and we abbreviated play for those who showed up. 

Speaking of dirt and dust: It was here, there, dust was everywhere. The fine, powdery mix covered the entire infield, reaching a depth of over an inch in most places; it was marvelous!

Get your News at home,  subscribe to the Yellow Springs News today

The children seemed to revel in the opportunities presented by this alignment of circumstances and savored every moment. They kicked dirt and dust, they rolled in it, they filled their hats with it, and they threw dust in the air by the handful. Every step taken — sometimes an intentional dust-shuffle — resulted in plumes and trails of dust. We were surrounded by players resembling the Pigpen character from the Peanuts cartoon series. The cloud of dust at times seemed to envelop the whole playing field. Laryssa Ingebo-Blanzy, mother of Harry, at one point mimicked a cough and stated, “I taste dirt!” a condition others on the field were undoubtedly experiencing as well.

Sisters Winnie and Poppy were here for their first week of Perry League this summer. We loved to see Poppy, 6, enjoying herself with dad, Mike, in their colorful Perry League tie-dye shirts.

Winnie, 5, who is an empathetic and perceptive girl, picked up on the coaches’ concern about safe T-ball, considering the heat, and suggested kids walk the bases this evening. We agreed that keeping things slow and cool was a good idea.  Not much later, however, we saw Winnie rounding the bases at lightning speed!

As with Winnie, we noticed the heat did not seem to affect the kids as much as the adults. Soon after a shortened opening run and T-ball stretching, the kids were in motion.

Two-year-old Freya, in a cool octopus shirt, was hanging out with mom near the bench and third baseline. She was squatted down and involved with the dirt and dust when a plume swirled up and got into her eyes. She was not happy, but was very brave about the situation. It was suggested that she blink her eyes to help clear the dust. When we offered to demonstrate how to do it, she looked up for a moment and indifferently said, “No.” Then she offered up a tiny pebble she found in the dirt and thankfully seemed to be relieved of the dust in her eyes.

Not long into play, only a couple of T-balls seemed available for Coach Yunus to load onto the tee. Scanning the field, the coaches eventually discovered a mischievous group of kids including but not limited to, Kai, 5, Miko, 3, and Jordan, 4, gathered around the pitcher’s rubber in a cloud of dust busily burying the missing balls in dust and field dirt.  When found out, the kids responded with cheeky grins and negotiated the return of two of the 4 balls to Coach Rob.

Checking in at the batting bench: Ida, 5, let us know she wasn’t here last week because her brother was in a play. When asked for more details, Ida let us know the play was a mystery, including a bloody pencil with real blood and a lot of murders — funny murders actually.

Also overheard at the bench was a wiggly tooth competition. Teddy boasted of three wiggly teeth — two on the bottom and one on top. Aria, 9, let us know she has four wiggly teeth and pointed to specifics with a wide-open mouth.

There also was a boo-boo show-and-tell going on at the batting bench. Mid-June is the point where there has been ample exposure of kids’ elbows, knees, shins, etc., to unfortunate incidents, eliciting some competitive injury tales.

Callie, 4, fresh out of the Gaunt Park pool and a Greek beach vacation, was here for her first week of T-ball with friend Kyla, 10.

Dylan or “Dylie,” 3, and Jack, 5, were here with mom friends, Mychael and Maddy. Jack was more interested in fielding and dust-rearranging than batting this week. Rookie Finley, 6, waited patiently at the bench and took everything in with wide-eyes, seeming to enjoy himself.

Coach Yunus noticed an amusing outcome of the thick dusty, sandy, dirty conditions for many batters. Kids would hit the ball off the tee, and it wouldn’t roll; it would just get stuck in a pile of dust! That did not deter these Perry League hitters, though.

Aly, 4, and mom, Lacey, with matching smiles, the kind that entirely light up a face, came up to bat midway. Apparently, Aly has been practicing her swing — she had a great hit and trotted off to first wearing her great big smile.

Harrison, “Harry,” 2, after waiting very patiently to bat, was gently coached from the sidelines by his parents, and Coach Yunus assisted. Harry had a natural swing, got a nice hit, then made a very deliberate and delicate deposit of the bat on the ground, before running to first base, where he enthusiastically kicked dust.

Ara Beal came out with grandkids to continue a generational tradition of Perry League and helped out at second base. Thank you! Ara’s rookie grandchild, Ryker, 4, had a nice hit and seemed to have a great time.

Jonas came off the field to hit a ball and ran to first base with some encouragement. Sometimes there can be some overlap in transitioning from fielding to hitting. This was the case with little Jonas. When the next batter hit, Jonas transitioned from waiting to run to second base to fielding in an attempt to capture the ball that was hit. Running the bases in Perry League is completely optional.

Steve, grandpa to Shiloh and Emberlee, shared duty as First Base Encourager with Matt, who is dad to Callie. Thank you both. Shiloh wore cleats to T-ball, which were very effective in producing great dust clouds, she discovered. Shiloh shared that cleats are not allowed to be worn in the house, which seems to be a good practice to us.

The red-haired Boldman-Geis family, including Charlotte, 4, and Alice, 8, had the right idea wearing wetted cooling headbands. Admittedly, they reminded us of a bit of rock band, Guns N’ Roses’ frontman, Axl Rose.

Mama Brevik and kiddos pulled in to help out minutes before game time from their Pennsylvania vacation. Oldest daughter, Nya, was splendid in the important Bat Selector Assistant role. The Breviks offered ice pops that were gladly received by the kids at the end of play.

Next week will be the halfway point of the season and moving into July already. This year, we invite T-ballers, past and present, and their families to join us in walking in the Yellow Springs Fourth of July parade. We encourage folks to wear Perry League T-shirts. We will gather at 1:45 p.m. Thursday behind the fire station.

We hope to see you next week. Our all-volunteer program is noncompetitive, 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 meet every Friday through July at Gaunt Park, 6–7:30 pm.

—Coaches Yunus Brevik and Margi and Rob Gay


No comments yet for this article.

The Yellow Springs News encourages respectful discussion of this article.
You must to post a comment.

Don't have a login? Register for a free account.

WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By :