I was just remembering a day back in 2001 when my little 7 year old brought a friend home from school who asked me, "Is Dakota going to sign up for baseball this Summer?" I asked how would I sign him up and he said he got a slip at school to sign him up and it cost 55.00 to register him. I thought, "I'm rich, just got my income tax refund", I actually had 55.00 to blow on the kid.
We headed for the Church up the hill where they were taking registrations. They told us he would be on a team called "The Little Rebels", so I paid the man. On our way to get a glove, bat, ball, socks and shoes! They gave us a hat, and a shirt.
After the first few practices I thought he needs a new bat, yea, yea, that's his problem so went and bought a real cool, titanium bat, one the ball could make a real "zing" when he hit it out of the ball park!
He did hit it hard and got a few RBI's and a HR or two! Course the pitcher was a skinny mechanical robot thing that was set to throw slow balls. He laughed, I cried, everybody was happy!
One day I was sitting in the bleachers, our team was in the outfield. The ball was hit, up, up it went high over everyone's head and blam! It landed in the hands of one of our own little boys' glove! I shouted, "Way to go! What a catch!" A woman turned around and looked back at me and said, "That was your boy!" My son? Dakota? Dakota Blake?"
I jumped off the bleachers ran to the coach who was laughing so hard because we were ahead at this point, probably 28-5 or something, and I asked, "Was that Dakota that caught that ball?" He nodded, "Yea, good job!"
Still not believing my ears when the inning was over I asked Dakota while we were on our way to the concession stand to get a "suicide", that's a drink where all the drinks they had were mixed together in one cup. He said, “Yes, that was me!” My heart was bigger than the Grinch's when it grew and grew, well you know the story.
K-ball was so much fun, for me that is, that year. They only lost 3 games went to play for the championship and lost, sadly. It took 2 whole games. That’s how many you had to lose to be out of the championship game.
They played until August that year! Rain or shine we were there! I cried when it was over and couldn't wait until next year! Next year came and he was a little less enthused about being in summer baseball. We registered, 60.00 this time. Bought the gloves the socks, the bat glove etc… the game was over by June.
The next year I had to practically carry him to the games. He stood like a little weenie holding his legs together, hoping for ball four so he could walk to base. He knew if he got on, he could run the bases. The pitching machine was gone and the little pitchers couldn't hit the side of a barn, missing their mark by an arm or a leg, thigh etc… Starting to think he needed a bigger titanium bat!
One day his father actually showed up to one of the games and called me at home to say "Our son just got a home run!" Really! I can't believe I missed it! He had hit an in the ball park home run by tapping the ball, bunt, about 3 inches off the plate. The Ump cried, “Fair Ball!” He ran to first. He ran to second. The pitcher couldn't find it! The catcher couldn't find it. They finally found it, threw it to first! Dakota was on second and heading for third! He slid into home and won the game’s ball that day!
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