We started playing by letting everyone swing their way through a bucket of balls, as others played in the outfield. While we were playing a boy, about the age of 12, wearing a red t-shirt and a pair of blue jeans with big rips through both legs watched from the bleachers behind home base. I asked if he would like to join us. He said "sure". Game on for Tommy.
|Spontaneous dancing at Lake Harriet concert|
Tommy later confessed to me that he had never been asked to play in a game of ball before. He said he's a shy kid and wouldn't want to play in front of crowds at a big stadium. He noted it didn't seem likely our group would be stadium bound. Spot on Tommy ;-)
After the game, a nail biter, 6-5, Tommy said he hoped to bump into our group again. I shared how we didn't have a set time to play, but would welcome him again. He smiled once more and headed homeward on his bike. He didn't score a run or catch a pop fly, but I dare say no one enjoyed the game more than he.
I must confess to longing for kids to have more unstructured time to play pick-up games in their neighborhood. Sports have become exceedingly organized, starting from an early age, and often carry a hefty price tag. Tommy is a great reminder that there are still kids out there waiting to be asked to play in their first game of ball at the park down the road.