My youngest grandson, Luke Spraggins, loves baseball. He is six years old and plays in a league in Pike County. His Cardinals team won the league championship last season, but his Padres squad is struggling a bit this year. He plays first base just like his Paw Paw did many years ago.
A couple of weeks ago Luke broke his right arm while sliding down a slide at a birthday party. He did a good job, breaking both the radius and ulna bones. Dr. Donati reset the bones and Luke was a real trooper during the painful process. Luke’s main concern was that this injury would end his baseball season.
Well, things went so well that on Monday of this week Luke could be found on first base playing as usual. He had a great game catching numerous throws for outs and getting hits by hitting the ball off of the batting tee. He swung the bat with one arm. He can still run and had one great play where he ran all the way to home plate to tag out a runner after recording an out at first base.
He was having a great season and was in line to possibly make the all-star team, which is now probably not a possibility. I’m really proud of him for his determination and toughness. He’s making the best of a bad situation.
As I watch Luke and the other youngsters play, I am amused and impressed with their actions. I have come up with a somewhat comical list of musts for kids of this young age to play baseball. See what you think!
First you have to be able to pound the bat on home plate before every pitch. I don’t know why, you just do! Then you must, without exception, slide at home plate no matter where the ball is. Then, if you’re playing in the outfield, you have to battle about five teammates to get the ball when it comes your way. It looks like a bunch of football players trying to recover a fumble.
If you are lucky enough to get the ball you have to get a good running start to throw it to home plate. A run to around second base would do fine! And its OK to sit down or lay down in the outfield because there is so little action out there. It’s normally hot during the game and it helps to get a break. And if you find a good bare spot in the grass you can have fun in playing in the dirt.
And its alright to play with your shirt tail out. The problem is that some players are so short that the shirt tale almost reaches the ground. And you know, that need to go to the bathroom hits you at the strangest times. It okay to come running off the field yelling, “I have to go to the bathroom,” no matter what the situation. The rest of the team can cover for you!
I’m sure that I have forgotten some musts or have not noticed them.No matter, it’s always a treat to watch these little guys play even though most of them have no idea what baseball is all about. They have time to learn.