Take me out to the ball game! Take me out to the crowd, but not the Philadelphia Phillies that I have sworn allegiance to since the 1980s when I first went to see a game with my husband. I didn’t think anyone could take the place of the Phillie Phanatic in my ballpark. Then a young pigeon flew into the room and infected me with the spirit of the Bronx Bombers. I know that for sure because it descended upon me when my son and I started watching Yankee games together in the beginning of spring 2017. One year later we are again putting on our Yankee hats and yelling about plays from our cushioned front row seats in front of the television.
It has been Fantastic hanging out on the couch with him cheering on the team, learning about the rules, and watching the players, especially Aaron Judge! It is a pleasure to see such a respectful, polite, well-mannered young man. The highlight of last season was when we actually saw Judge hit his first grand slam in April at Yankee Stadium. After this eventful moment I started thinking about the advantage of playing on the home field.
My son has the opportunity to pick up a bat and take a swing at academics every day. Like the Judge he always tells the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. When his RBIs started to fall we consulted in the dugout about the pitches his teachers were throwing and agreed that more coaching was needed to keep him on the roster. We hired a tutor for math and English so he could make the move from the Little League of middle school to the Minor League of high school, which would enable him to play in the Major League of College.
Sitting on the bleachers in our living room my son educated me about balls, strikes, and no-hitters. As I intently listened to the announcer in him I began to realize and appreciate that the baseline of his instruction goes deeper than sports and school. My son digs in his cleats and steps up to whatever kind of plate is served. In the ninth inning, with the score tied, he smashed a curveball when he wanted to donate the money he had saved for a laptop to the church building project fund. Like Judge, he was getting on the scoreboard with great hits and a helping hand mitt. Taking the field as an altar boy and media ministry volunteer he was using his faith to slide into home.
The outfield of school and extracurricular activities are stacked with responsibilities that have to be caught, making for great round the horn plays. Teachers and coaches take turns on the mound to give my child the opportunity to be a hitter. No umpire would dare call him out. Each day he signs off on the World Series when he writes his name on a paper contracting to do his best. Moving up from A to Double-A to Triple A he graduates to the next grade level and score. He practices daily to play multiple positions on the field of life. This versatile team player learns to run the bases as well as any professional, making him worth a million dollars.
I appreciate having the opportunity to share in the peanut and Cracker Jack payoff with my son. So, it’s root, root, root for the home team, because there isn’t anyone else like this young star at the old ball game.