Sunday, February 6, 2011

Little League Dad in Training

The reason that the baseball season spans eight months is that Major League Baseball is afraid that if it gives you any amount of time off, you'll wise up and realize that the sport is actually incredibly boring. That's the purpose of Fan Fest in January. To keep us on the hook.

For the second year in a row, Finn and I headed out with Spiro & True to Mariners Fan Fest at Safeco Field last weekend. I was super excited for this year since, unlike last year, Finn is not suffering from leprosy and is generally more runny/play-y. Unfortunately, the Mariners must have read my post about our secret entrance last year and were prepared for us this time, rejecting us at the secret door and forcing us to enter with the great unwashed.

Luckily, we found a short line and didn't have to wait in the rain too long, as lines have proven in general to be counter to Finn's disposition (see: line for Santa Claus). Even though the joint was PACKED by the time we got in, turning the "run" around the bases into more of a "Japanese tour group stroll" around the bases, we still had a great time.

Although I was still smarting from my tee-ball showing from last season, and was therefore hiding behind my camera, Finn stepped up and took a few cuts - clearly outdoing my 2010 performance. I even got him to play catch with me in the outfield, during which time I even managed to toss the ball directly into the webbing of his mitt a couple of times, since he hasn't quite figured out how to catch on his own... or which hand the mitt goes on.

In general, a very impressive showing for an almost-three-year-old. He's already outpacing my early baseball career, where it took me a couple of years (and several consolation milkshakes; thanks again Dad!) to make the Little League team. In two seasons with the Clinton Tigers, I had exactly one hit, which left me with a career batting average somewhere around .001, which in turn cut my on-base percentage - driven entirely by walks - down to around .500. Ten-year-olds are terrible pitchers.

Aside from that hit, I really only have one play that sticks in my memory, when our deaf catcher - who certainly spoke well enough to consistently chew me out for striking out - threw the ball so hard to me at second base that I dropped my glove in pain... right onto the leg of the stealing baserunner.

Not exactly Hall of Fame material. Looks like it's up to Finn to live up to my unfulfilled baseball dreams!

That's healthy, right?


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