- I think something that makes baseball so intriguing for kids, is the cool EQUIPMENT. And how each piece serves a specific purpose in the game. At least that’s one of the reasons I fell in love with it.
- In basketball you get a jersey. In football you have pads and a helmet. Soccer has… goals I guess.
- But baseball has everything: balls, bats, uniforms, cleats, gloves, helmets, eye black, stirrups, belts, hats… Growing up, I used to time myself to see how fast I could get my catching gear on and off. (nerd alert!)
- … sunglasses, wristbands, tape, ball-bag, water bottle, batting gloves, pine tar rag, rosin bag, and of course… the athletic supporter. (NOT the cheering kind)
When I was six, I played on the same Little League team as my older brother Andy. He knew way more about baseball then I did. And not only did he help me learn baseball, but he also looked out for me. Like the times he’d sneak me wads of Big League Chew. (mom said “no” to that; and candy cigars) Or, like the time he had me looking up gullible in the dictionary. (it’s in there)
To my knowledge, my brother never gave me a reason not to trust him. So I believed what he said on our way to my first game. Dressed in red jerseys and white pants, we climbed in the car, finished our pre-game banana (no cramps right), and went through the checklist. Hats… “check” Gloves… “check” Cleats… “check” Cups… “check”. Suddenly it dawned on me… “Why do we wear cups when we play?”
Now, I’d like to think my brother was just joking, and what ensued was just a misunderstanding. But, instead…”What do you think it’s for? It’s called a cup for a reason. You’re wearing it down there just in case you have to pee during a game… DUH.” SOooo apparently, this was a lie. A lie that has been told from kid to kid for decades. And it’s still alive and well, thriving on the innocent and trusting souls.
When the game started, I was told to go to left-field. I couldn’t believe it! “I’m a real baseball player!” I thought. Quickly I realized that not many balls were hit into the outfield. But I wasn’t going to let that get me down, I stayed focused. Inning after inning… hustled in, hustled out… (water bottle sip after water bottle sip)… UNTIL the 5th!
Standing in left-field, hands on my knees, staring into the infield, the urge hit. “Oh man I gotta go.” I mumbled to myself as my brain searched for a plan. My uneasiness was soon over taken with reasoning. “Andy said we could just… pee in the cup right? I mean, might as well.” Moments later I felt relief. The kind of relief you can feel running down your leg turning your white pants yellow. “3 OUTS!”
(Panic, Panic, Panic)
As I sloshed in from left-field, 3 things were CERTAIN: Number one… I had just pissed my pants. Two… I hated my brother. And lastly… the tears in my eyes were ready to come pouring out like urine. I sprinted right past the team huddle, past the coach, and the dugout. It was straight to mom! She was in the small press box above the concession stand. So I ran behind the old bleachers and whizzed up the stairs. My mom was the team’s official scorekeeper. (Urine – 1 Tim – 0)
“Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains.”