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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

August 13, 2006

Organized chaos

Filed under Family

That’s the description that came to mind when I watched grandson Sean’s T-ball practice.

Remember the stories about "When I was your age, I used to walk 10 miles to school"?Sean hitting ball I guess I would tell grandson Sean that when I was his age we had to hit a pitched ball – overhand most of the time. We didn’t get to use a batting tee when we stepped up to the plate. But then again, six brothers helped me to get initiated in the ways of hitting a baseball. When I visited Sean’s T-ball practice last month, there was at least a semblance of order when practice started. The bases were laid out in familiar diamond fashion, home plate was clearly visible, and during batting practice the players in the field stood at familiar positions. But then the chaos set in. Some of the players in the field did not stay on their position. Instead, they moved around at times, with one young fellow running all over the diamond doing various things. I am not familiar with T-ball rules, but it seems that even if the batter is thrown out or his fly ball is caught, he gets to run the bases anyway. Adrian at tball practice So each time a batter hit the ball off the tee, the batters on base advanced. At times one runner would advance more than one base, passing the runner(s) in front of him. When I was a kid that was an out, but not in T-ball, it seems. The coach had the proverbial patience of Job during the whole thing.

Our other grandson Adrian had a great time wandering around the edge of the field. At times he seemed interested in what was happening on the practice field, but he also was looking at bugs and various plants. In so doing, he actually could have been one of the players on the field, since some of them seemed to be doing similar things at times. But Adrian really liked the batting helmets. He got close enough to the equipment to garner one of them temporarily, and when he tried it on it made him look a bit like some character from a Mel Brooks’ outer space movie.

When practice was over, I surmised that T-ball may be a better way to start off a baseball career than "When I was your age". Every player on Sean’s team got to bat, and they all had the success of hitting the ball and running the bases. Sure beats striking out in your first at-bat!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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