“T-Ball Redux” By Chris Zito

Vince’s t-ball team has seven boys on it. Having volunteered to help out I showed up at the first practice found out there were four of us coaches. I offered to bow out, but the head coach said, “No, we need you.” He was right. Halfway through practice it struck me that we should probably recruit a few more parents.

This guy’s group is definitely easier to organize than seven 5-year-olds.

The biggest challenge when coaching T-ball is keeping a straight face. I coached T-ball over twenty years ago and the game hasn’t changed a bit. You put the kids on the infield and they mostly want to play in the dirt. Once they discover that you can draw and X in the infield to mark where to stand the X’s start popping up everywhere! You’d have to empty the outfield and the bench to put a kid at every position.

Tough to sneak a ground ball through.

There couldn’t be a wider range of athletic ability or experience. On one end you have the kid who played t-ball last year, but because of his birthday is stuck in t-ball again. He knows how to throw, how to hit a pitched ball, and which base to run to. On the other end you’ve got the kid who just turned five in time for this season. When he hits the ball off the T he immediately has thirty adults yelling at him to “Run! Run!”  His shirt is too big, his helmet makes him look like a Peanuts character, and he has absolutely no idea what all the shouting is about.

Contrary to popular myth, American kids
are NOT born knowing where first base is.

Some kids can’t get enough. Not so with Vince. I made the mistake of telling him we’d go for ice cream after the game so the game just became something he had to do to get ice cream. Early indications are that he will not grow up, sign a multi-million dollar contract with the Red Sox and buy us a house. But hey, there are lots of ways to make a million dollars and buy your parents a house. Vince is young. He has plenty of time to find his money…er, niche.

“Is it Dairy Queen time yet?”

Thanks for reading. Tell your pals.
Chris Zito


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