Yesterday, I went to watch a couple of Junior High teams play baseball. I overheard one of the coaches tell a player, “Look, you know the principles of good sportsmanship. You know the League doesn’t allow temper tantrums, shouting at the umpire, or abusive language.” “Yes sir, I understand.”
“Good, the coach said, now would you please explain that to your mother?!”
These kids were good! Much better than when I was in Jr. High. They had technique, they were focused, the catchers and pitchers had cannons for arms but the hitters were every bit as good. There were a few errors but they were mostly bad hops that were very tough to field.
They turned double plays like big leaguers. The pitchers were throwing fast balls, change ups, split finger fast balls, even curves that were not fully developed sharp curves, but they did serve up some sliders.
I spoke with one of the coaches and he told me they don’t teach the young lads the full “junk” pitching until he feels they’re ready, which made me happy.
Back when I played as a youngster, it was strictly fast balls and change ups. That was it. As you might imagine, there were a lot of runs scored. I was a catcher, mainly because I was the biggest kid on the team.
Defensively, I was very good. I just couldn’t hit. That was a big problem for me that would plague my throughout my playing days. I think it was just standing at the plate with no protection.
Who knew the pictures were erratic, and you never knew where the ball was going. We had a pitcher named Edgar. We ended calling him Edgar the butcher because he hit so many hitters.
Fond memories, and yesterday’s game brought them back, if only for a few short hours.
See you tomorrow.
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