Back in the day, when Scottie was two, he knew how to grip the bat, address the T, smack the ball, drop the bat and run in a circle. He had the game down. Granted, there were some nuances to learn, a batter’s glove, cleats and hat to acquire, but he evidenced a deep understanding of hit, drop, run in a circle almost before any of us grownups who were too entranced by his curly hair to realize what the boy was doing. For oh, these past two years Scott has prepared for today. Practiced with whiffles, padded aluminum bats and woodies. He has a mitt with his name in permanent marker, an unarguable step toward lifetime committment. For two years he’s watched his dad play baseball. And Scottie’s talked it up. (and anyone who knows Scottie knows that phrase “talked it up” also means talked it down, sideways, up and across because our Scottie does love to talk).
Two years would be a long time for anyone to wait for a first real game, but when those two years also mean half your life — that’s an investment.
And then when the field is so much bigger than the backyard
and there are so many extra players you never met before
and when the coach is someone you don’t know from a bad guy who passes out candy,
even the Babe might cave on his first game.
Might have missed his first at bat thinking it more prudent to study the underside of his mom’s arm. A kid could just walk away from the game, even.
But not Scott Lufkin, Rookie of the Gray Socks team. When he finally took his last chance first time at bat, Coach said it was the best hit of the day. Hurray!
I wasn’t there as I was at the airport collecting his cousin Ben (subsequent story to follow), but fortunately I WAS able to get a detailed play by play, complete with behind the scenes negotiations from the sideline coach, AKA mom (Katie).
One small step for his baseball career, one gigundwonda step for Scott.