Today, you played what may have been not only your last Fort Polk baseball game, but, because we’re moving, your last sports game ever at this post. Your first up to bat you had three wrongly-called strikes, but you didn’t let it get you down. Tonight you also played catcher for the first time, and you played it hard, flinging off your helmet, chasing down runners, throwing that ball with ferocity and tagging a runner out at home. I was so proud to watch you.
But nothing made me prouder to see you take your turn at bat for the second time, your last time, dusting off your shoes, laying into your front leg. You swung at everything that got pitched your way. Your first two swings were low ones, and you swung anyway. You were determined to go out swinging, go out aiming for those fences. You got a piece of the ball your next two times, and hit that ball hard on the last try, unfortunately popping it up and out at first base.
Despite the pitcher throwing balls to everyone else, walking them, you were determined to hit that ball, you wanted a piece, and you got it. Your last at bat, you wanted to leave it all on the field, and you did.
And you were the first to lead the team in the congratulatory handshake at the end, too.
You may not have won any games this season, but you learned how to play baseball for the first time, and you tried your hardest each and every game, regardless of the score. It was my pleasure watching you try something new.
Congratulations to you and your team for learning a hard-fought lesson in humility and good-sportsmanship, and for never, ever giving up.
|My son and his BFF on the same team.
You can’t win them all, but you, my dear, are a winner for trying. I love you, baby.
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