Saturday, In the Park

As I wandered through the park today, I stopped to take in a few minutes of a tee-ball game.

First, let me set the scene. The outfield was empty. The infield had maybe about 12 little kids and a few dads. A couple of kids stood at each base, one or two were on the pitcher's mound (even though there was no pitching involved), and the rest were scattered around the infield.

The one thing that surprised me was just how many strikes there are in tee-ball. You'd think... well, the ball is right there... but, it's still early in the season, I suppose. (I feel like I've been reciting that a lot lately.) The kids in the infield stood just like they see their favorite players stand on t.v., hands on knees, feet wide apart, leaning forward as though they're eager to get their hands on the ball.

Stirke after strike the kids waited. Execept one of the kids on the pitchers mound. "Quit playing with the sand!" someone's mother kept yelling.

And, finally, a hit. And all of the little infielders showed just how eager they were. All 12 ran to the ball which had rolled slowly toward the mound. All 12 leapt on it and, for just a few seconds, fought over the ball. Finally, one little boy emerged with the ball.

Either because there was no one near the base to throw it to, or because he just wasn't sure what to do, he held onto the ball. And chased after the runner, just a few steps behind. They ran, just like that, all the way home.

And, just like that, I had seen my very first homerun that was not just in-the-park but also in-the-infield. Amazing. Thank goodness for spring.

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