Monday, October 18, 2010

How I Was Duped By a Baseball Junkie

Joey is a baseball junkie. It's serious. If he could somehow mainline baseball, I have no doubt that he would.

The funny thing is, he only first picked up a ball and glove this past February. He was determined to play Little League, which he did in the Spring. It was difficult because most of the kids on his team had already played a year of Little League, so Joey was behind most of them in skill level. Sometimes it was painful to watch, because he wanted so much to do well, and overall, he didn't exactly have a stellar first season. Sometimes it made him sad. I think a lot of kids might have thrown in the towel and decided maybe baseball wasn't for them, but Joey was determined and dedicated.

He made baseball his main pastime. Every day over summer break, and every day after school since then (and sometimes before school), Joey's been out in the front yard practicing his batting, his throwing, his catching. Whenever he can, Michael is out there with him, pitching to him, throwing grounders and fly balls for Joey to catch, and catching the fly balls and grounders Joey throws.

Joey has worn out a spot on the front lawn.

It's not just playing baseball, though. It's watching baseball, too. Live games, old games, commentary, replays. He's adopted a true pitcher's form, and he has a beautiful swing, thanks in large part to watching the Big Guys.

The kid is good.

It's funny to listen to Joey and Michael have these very in-depth discussions about baseball - the standings, the teams, the players, batting averages, records, injuries - all of it - and I have to remind myself that Joey's only 8! Michael may as well be talking baseball with an old guy who's been a fan his whole life.

He's playing Little League Winter Ball right now, and what a difference from the Spring season. Joey is now one of the better players among his peers. The other boys often vie to have Joey as a catching partner during warm-ups and practices. And the best part of all of this is just seeing how good it makes him feel about himself - to do well at something he is so passionate about.

He's got stars in his eyes, that's for sure. A few weeks back, he was upset one night, and it came out that, "I'll miss being with my family when I travel all the time when I'm in the major league." Gotta love the boy's confidence.

This morning Joey didn't want to go to school. He's got a very minor cold, barely worth mentioning. But he insisted he didn't feel well and wanted to stay home. Well, Joey's always loved school, to the point that he thinks there should be MORE homework, and that school should run all year round. He's never faked sick before, so I figured he must actually not be feeling well. So I let him stay home.

It wasn't long after we got all the other kids to school that I began to have a sneaking suspicion that Joey's wanting to stay home had something to do with baseball. "Is there a game on today?" I asked him. "Yeah," he said. Aha! But I looked at the baseball schedule and discovered that the game wasn't on until 5:00, so that wasn't it. Before long, though, Joey headed out to the front yard like he always does. "Not so fast," I said. "You're sick, remember?" "But I feel fine now," he said. Uh huh.

We had to run a couple of errands, and there was Joey, running up and down the grocery store aisles, catching imaginary fly balls and announcing the imaginary World Series game he was starring in. As usual. He was fine.

He's going to school tomorrow.


The Sanchez Family said...

I LOVE it and I love seeing such confidence and joy in sports in boys so young. Diego is the same way about soccer and tells us matter of factly that he will play until he's 30 and after he's played in the World Cup. SOOO cute!

diane rene said...

I love that last picture - yeah, you caught me ;0)

good for him! I love that all his hard work has paid off and he is doing so well this season.

Anonymous said...

You are onto him!! He won't be able to pull that again! But it is great that he is so passionate about something!

Alycia said...

Awww... What a sweet little boy... He would never fake sick... Not my perfect boyfriend Joey. He just probably felt sick this morning but is all better now : ) E-mail me his baseball schedule. I would love to watch one of his games.

FogCityNews said...

Actually, the game started at 2pm West Coast time, so I hope he got to see some of it! Many of us here at work were clicking "refresh" on the local live blog all afternoon. Go Giants! And Go Joey!!!

Lisa said...

Different game, Fog City News! It was the Yankee game on October 18 :)