Boys of Autumn

The Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series last night.

(Then they all may have caught COVID19 from Justin Turner, but that’s another story.)

I’m a Phillies fan but was rooting for the Dodgers in this series. Tampa Bay is a nice story – solid players without a huge payroll.

But I just dug the Dodgers more.

Still, I was hoping for a TB win last night to push it to seven games, one more game of major league baseball.

Yes, the 60 game season was a sprint, but I enjoyed it a lot this year. Partly that was because this season my boys really followed it as well.

Chase and Matt came to like watching the Phillies games. Matt’s a real student of the game. He watches endless clips from the MLB Network on his Kindle. He knows more players than me.

So it was fun watching game with them, talking about players, watching them emulate those they saw.

Just like I did when I was 9 and 10.

I’d pretend to be Larry Bowa or Manny Trillo…they look to Javey Lopez and Cody Bellinger.

Anyway, this Sunday, the Fall Ball team I coached finished up. My town didn’t have a summer recreation program (we call it Rec League) due to coronavirus concerns, but by late summer, the township felt we could hold a Fall Ball season with protocols in place.

We were able to field two teams in Matt and Chase’s age bracket, so they just played each other every Sunday (we did have two games with a neighboring town.)

By the time Sunday rolled around, our season series was tied. We really wanted the win. We threw our three studs – Chase, Matt and Gavin. But alas, it was not to be. One big hit by the other team did us in and we lost, 9-7.

Even though we didn’t win,  everyone got a game ball.

I’ve been coaching for six years now, since Chase was in t-ball. While it’s always been fun working with the boys, this fall season seemed especially important.

It was good see this group of bys have a bit of normalcy back while learning the game (and my co-coach, Chris, was a wonderful teacher of fundamentals.)

The boys really came a long way in just a month or so of practices and games. It was really satisfying to see them improve and leave the field with a smile on their face, win or lose.

That’s what it’s really all about.

The smile.

Game balls for all.

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2020

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