Cranks My Tractor

Published: Thursday, July 18, 2013 at 09:52 AM.

One of the teams I coach is a more competitive team traveling on weekends within and sometimes outside the state to play other similar teams.  The chemistry of this particular team seems to lend well to my underlying goal of fun and comradery.

On a recent Sunday, we were playing our third game in the blistering heat.  One umpire passed out, a couple of players were suffering from minor wounds and all of the guys were worn out.  We generally carry ten players and bat the entire lineup, taking turns with one fellow sitting on the bench.

With my back to the bench, I heard the little brother of one of players talking.  He is around 11 years-old and quite a baseball player himself.  He enjoys sitting in the dugout with us; I enjoy having him there.

Eavesdropping, not wanting to get caught, I couldn’t tell exactly who the boy was addressing.  The little boy noted to one of the guys on the bench or to his parents, “We are losing, they act like they are winning, they sure are having a good time to be losing.”

Sure enough, the team was laughing, poking fun at each other and having a good time.  They had played well for the most part and seemed to have “mastered the FUNdamentals.”

I’m sure I had a grin on my face, because it hurt; my lips had burnt from being in the sun all day.

There are many schools of thought on kids playing travel baseball, soccer, lacrosse and every other sport folks can make a dollar off of parents’ dreams of college scholarships and posh summer homes to retire to after their kids make the big leagues.

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