My Journey to Baseball

diamond rainbow

There are many kinds of journeys: the physical, the spiritual, and, lying somewhere in between, the journeys of taste and experience, as we develop an appreciation of art, lifestyles, food, and dress, other than those with which we grew up. Many of my journeys have been taken along the road of my parenthood. My life has become richer as I have followed the path of my son’s life, expanding to absorb things that had little or no importance in my world before his coming. I didn’t grow up a baseball fan, and didn’t come to the game until my son brought me there. He has played for two years now, drawing our family into the madness that is a Little League spring season: a hectic succession of practices, games, and tournaments that keeps us fully occupied for a good ten weeks. Our ordered world of family dinners and quiet evenings listening to music has been thrown into chaos, as we juggle practices and games with homework and bedtime, and debate the nightly question of what we shall eat, where, and when. 


My son’s team has the fun of playing at what might be the prettiest Little League ballpark anywhere, a hilltop diamond with a view of the mountains. It is here, with the digital scoreboard lit up behind centre field, and the players’ names announced over the loudspeakers by younger siblings, that our son and his friends experience the joy of a big hit or a great catch, a perfect inning pitched, or a come-from-behind victory against the odds. 

Baseball is a game of silences and stillness, punctuated by sound and movement: parental voices calling support as a new batter walks up to the plate, followed by the hush before the pitch. The sound of the bat hitting the ball unleashes cheers as the field explodes into motion: ball shooting through the air, batter racing for first base, fielders catching and throwing in an attempt to beat him there. Then the play ends, and the cycle begins anew. 

This year, along with the happiness of gloves, balls, and bats, our son has had the sheer fun of playing on a team that has won most of its games. He has walked a little taller this spring (physically as well as metaphorically!) and anticipated games with a little more eagerness. While he still understands that winning isn’t everything, he has learned that winning can be fun, when it comes about as a result of teamwork and determination. There is joy in watching a player hit the ball who rarely does so; in seeing the boys praise and support one another; in witnessing the quick exchange of smiles or laughter during some quiet moment of the game. Late nights and missed dinners are made more than worthwhile by the camaraderie and positive attitude of these great kids, and the exuberance which bubbles forth from my son after every game. 

Hillcrest edited
© Leslie Wilkes 2016