Monday, August 31, 2009

Dreams of the Diamond

When I was a little girl - I wanted to grow up and play professional baseball. With the Yankees.

One of my earliest memories is of going to sleep every night with the radio beside my bed, listening to Bud Blattner and Denny Matthews (remember them?) broadcast the Kansas City Royals....this was, of course, back in the "Dark Ages" when baseball wasn't being broadcast every single night on television. If you wanted to catch a game - you either went to it - or you listened to it. I listened to it. Every night. My birthday, in June, was a celebrated occasion because we'd get to go to the ballpark to actually watch the game. Oh, that was a treat. I'd take my softball glove along with dreams of actually snagging a foul ball - or a home run ball - as a souvenir. Never happened. Oh well.

I'm thinking of baseball lately as the season starts to wind down...once again, the Kansas City Royals are in the basement. It didn't use to always be that way - they were contenders back in their early days. We even took the World Series in 1985 - an event that I hope my own kids get to see happen again one day. What a celebration this city had when the boys in blue won.

I'm thinking of baseball as I watch a truly outstanding player, Zack Greinke, pitch one amazing game after another...Last week, he threw a Royals-record 15 strike-outs in ONE game...! Yesterday, he pitched a one-hit game...and he leads the American league right now with an ERA of 2.32. Unbelievable. Really. The guy is just perfection in motion to watch.

I'm thinking of baseball as my own son has grown up and become quite the pitcher...he is pretty good, actually - hopefully good enough to be able to snag a college scholarship somewhere. He actually might get to live out my dream, because he's got two things that held me back from playing in the majors. First, he's NOT a girl. Last I checked, there aren't any girls playing in the Major League. Most important, though, he's got talent. Much more talent than I had, although I played pretty decent - for a girl. I could throw REALLY good - I could hit pretty decent (I've always had strong arms) - but I couldn't run worth a darn. I learned to hit the ball really, really hard so I could lumber down to first base. My coach said I ran like an elephant. Ouch.

Sometimes our dreams don't come true - and that's okay. They were unrealistic and unreachable, at best - but they gave me plenty of hours of enjoyment way back when. And now - when a Royals victory is a rare treat - it's just nice to watch an amazing young man on the pitching mound show off his talents with a little round ball.

Love you, son.


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