Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Letter To My Son: On Baseball

I know that you are only 9 and this probably won't mean anything to you until you are a parent but this season of baseball was truly magic. Your season with the Phillies and Coach Ron and Kevin just ended less than 12 hours ago and I'm already-still!-teary. You were one lucky kid to be chosen to play with this group of boys this year-the kind of kismet few teams ever have.

Remembering the beginning of the season is important to understand the finish so well. You struggled at the beginning and so did the others. Yes, there were some early standouts, the boys that have played travel ball, but you were all young for this division. You needed time to get your legs under you individually. Some of the boys on your team did not click right away, and you were frustrated with some of them. You learned that you could get along anyway and appreciate what each boy brought to the team regardless of your personal feelings.

Your coaches only expected out of each of you what you as individuals could produce and add to the team. You have a great head for the game and are a great back up player. I know that playing mostly in the outfield might not have been your choice but you made countless plays this season because you were always there to get the missed throw. That is very important to the team and you filled that role like no other kid on your team. They counted on you for that. They also counted on you for support and you always delivered. You have become a team player in the truest sense and I am proud of you. You are compassionate and were the first one to pat someone on the back when they got hurt or were upset. That has been part of the glue that holds this team together, part of your unique contribution. The other thing that I will remember about this season (and I'm sure you will too) is that you hold the unique distinction of getting on base by getting hit by the most pitches. You took 'em for the team time and time again. Most of the other boys weren't staying in the box like that; you were the example of 'shaking it off.'

The Phillies did not win very many games early in the season but as each of you got a little better, so did your record. You guys got some seemingly impossible wins in the second half of the season and you built momentum towards the playoffs that any pro team would envy. Even with the loss in the first game of the playoffs last Monday you guys played your hearts out and it didn't stop. Ever. For the next 4 games. I had not seen your team play with such sustained passion all season. The perfect storm.

Last night you were winning 3-1 for the first 3 innings of the game. The next 3 innings were back and forth, each team keeping the lead by only one or two runs. In the top of the final inning the Phillies went ahead by 2. Big T went in to pitch; an impossible and difficult situation for any pitcher. The Marlins scored one run and had two boys on base. The next 2 batters were struck out. The final batter had a 3-2 count and, yes, they scored. Final score 12-11. Your coach had it right when he said that he'd rather lose like this than an 18-0 blowout. You guys went out kicking and screaming and the Marlins had to fight for every run. There were no losers in that game.

I say all of this so we will remember. So we have record of what baseball should be like. This is why baseball is America's pastime.

The perfect storm included the families as well. Your brother will remember this season as having countless other siblings to play with-little and big. Your mom and dad? We will remember this season as the one where we found 'our people', the ones that I have a feeling will be around for a while. Other parents that take baseball with the exact seriousness that we do-have fun, play well, and have fun.

Last night I think Coach Ron was having the same feelings as I was; that all of us were. We aren't ready for it to end. So, in true Minor Phillies fashion, we will be having another team party sometime next week. He's been a coach for a long time and said it himself-he's never been part of a team quite like this. If there is never another team like the Phillies it will be ok. We have this year. The perfect storm.

I love you and all that you have meant to this team. Remember this, Son. It doesn't happen very often.
Headless Mom


Anonymous said...

This is the stuff that the blessing that is motherhood is built on! Aren't you a lucky and wise woman to document this "moment".....definitely a defining one in the life and times of HB!

Rocks In The Wash said...

You are truly wonderful for writing this to your son. Pull it out for the next season and read it to him so that he can remember! Way to Go, Team Phillies!!!

kyooty said...

What greatmemories to hold on to.

Amazing Greis said...

What a great post. Such a lucky Headless Boy and a lucky Headless Mom.


musingwoman said...

That is just beautiful! What an awesome experience for all of you.

Just Me said...

I can not believe your season is already over. My! We are not even half through.

This was a great post. Sounds like a really nice season.

Daisy said...

What a lucky kid - and lucky family! You know it's not always that way, and you appreciate the specialness.