Thursday, June 2, 2011

Summer officially begins

Last night Buddy had his first practice with his new team. Many of the kids mentioned that they saw him on television during the playoffs...a bit of a celebrity...yet not...let's not let this brief appearance on the network go to our heads. However, at this level there are many reasons to feel a puffed up version of oneself and misconstrue the attention. During last week's tournament, I watched the kids stand around the bullpen begging for balls and autographs. One kid, whom I fell in love with, had a plastic cup and asked Buddy to give him some sand from the diamond. Apparently, this guy collects sand from ballparks. He also asked him if he could have his jersey. Gutsy....Buddy looked at him and saw himself in the kid's eyes. I am sure that he remembers standing by the dug out waiting for the players to run in...."ball...please...throw me a ball....sign my hat...sign my ball....please...." I pray that he never forgets the days as a wide-eyed innocent watching, wishing, and praying that he was there. This is his dream....stop....look around...reflect...this is it....I am where I want to be. I worked hard...dreamed...sacrificed...and am now in Ohio doing what I love...I am blessed and very very happy.....

I could end this post with the last paragraph but I still want to reflect on the "little kid in the big kid." As a parent, I encouraged him to work hard to achieve his goals. With that said, his goals were always to play baseball at a very high level and stay eligible in high school and college by keeping the grades up. He has achieved them. Now I want to add one more goal....stay true to not let the attention go to your not try to be someone that you are not. His quiet nature has caused team mates to think that he was arrogant and self absorbed. But he isn't...he's a guy who can struggle in social settings. He has trouble talking about anything except baseball. But that is who he is right now....a guy who is committed to his goal and focused. Kids his age are not accustomed to seeing this type of sports-related work ethic, but an athlete needs it to move to the next level.

Consequently, it is not just hard work and desire, success can be a series of lucky events that help the player. Last week, his pitching coach and mentor made it to the big leagues...four days later, he was demoted back to the minors....It takes a tremendously tough personality to go through this trouble and often heart break....

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