Harmony County

2011 & 2009 Winner of "Best Humor Column" awarded by the SC Press Association

The National Pastime, local version

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I managed to get dragooned, again. I should know better. After my time in the military I learned, too late, the adage, “Never volunteer for anything”. The same applies in civilian life.
I have a grandson, lets call him, Jake, why not, many of them are, who is in the Minor 1 Baseball League. This is for kids nine to ten years old. It is where the kids don’t pitch, but get the baseball thrown to them by a machine and, as you can imagine they play on a cut down field appropriate to their size.
Here comes the volunteer part. I said I would take him to his practices and games. Seems harmless enough. For the first practice things went according to plan. I took the Derek Jeter wanna-be to the field, introduced myself and him to the three coaches, took a seat in the bleachers, and watched the National Game played as interpreted by nine-year-olds. I was snoring in about 15 minutes, so far, so good.
As per my volunteering I picked up Jake for his next practice and off to the ballpark we go. This is the ‘dragoon’ part. We got there and there was only one coach. The other two quit. So here was this poor guy with a dozen or so nine-year-olds pretty much running amuck around the ball field. He definitely got stuck holding the ball-bag.
Obviously, this guy was in over his head. Don’t get me wrong, he knows baseball, is a good coach, but this many yard birds running around is impossible to control. So guess who is now a coach. Like I had a choice.
(I’ve done this before. The kids are great. The parents are the problem. The kids want to play and have a good time. The parents want to WIN! My son and I got stuck coaching a Little League team back in Georgia. One guy was so abusive I finally said, “If you think you can do any better come out here and try.” I walked off the field.)
So now I’m a coach, again. This time, thankfully, the second stringer.
Herein lays the problem. About a month ago the teams were selected. Since none of we coaches were there, guess who got the kids that nobody else wanted? Not that it matters since neither of us knew the skill levels of the twerps.
Once again I am going for stupid. I want to teach the kids the game. Practically speaking, our chances against teams that have been playing together for two or three years are nil.
Now I can teach them certain skills that are associated with getting a month or two suspension, but that is for later. E.g. placing your spikes when sliding.
So, come on out. The kiddos would like your support. Bring a picnic lunch and make a day of it. I could think of worse ways to spend a Spring day.
I can only hope the parents don’t lynch me. © 2013 Jim McGowan

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Written by harmonycounty

March 28, 2013 at 4:42 p03

Posted in Americana, Sports

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