Tonight’s home opener did not go as well as planned with Visalia hanging 13 on us tonight to our no-show.  It is baseball.  It happens.  It is just disappointing we did not put on a better showing for the many fans that came out tonight.  It is nice to be back in the atmosphere of the home ballpark after being gone for seven months (and the four road games to start the year).  Playing where you are appreciated definitely makes things easier, and players definitely feed off the fans’ emotions.

My favorite part about the crowds is seeing the kids, especially the younger ones.  It does not matter if you are a prospect or an organizational player trying to stick around; they want to be just like you when they are older.  Their admiration is unwavering.  Even in your tough times they still want you to sign a ball for them or just give you a “high-five.”  It fascinates me to see how excited they are to run out on the field with you for player introductions or if you come over and actually talk to them for a few minutes.  I try to make it a point to do this when I have a free moment because you never actually know how rough a child has things going for them.  Going to that baseball game might be the high point of their day, week, or month, and your interactions can be the world to them.

We are all dreamers, and that starts in our youth.  I am an adult playing a kid’s game.  Baseball was so much easier at that age: you were sometimes more concerned with what the after game snack was than what you did at the plate that day.  And that error you made late in the game is by the wayside before you even get home to play with your friends.  The game definitely changes as you get older, but the roots of it remain the same.  Taking this game too seriously will wear you out and age you beyond your years.  Laughing about some mistakes, at times, can be just as important as learning from them.  A big key to success in baseball is respecting the game, and making sure to have fun doing it.  Whether you are up or down by 13 can be a laugher or an embarrassment, but if you are still playing like a kid, it is still better than any other job I will ever have.


4 Responses to “Kids”

  1. Schmidt Says:

    I love how you talked about a big key to success in baseball is respecting the game, and have FUN doing it. I am currently going to a junior college and it is my last season with them for baseball and looking to transfer next year. I love the competitiveness in the game, i strive off of it. But more importantly i love to have fun with the game. I see so many other players and teammates that get wrapped up in numbers and all sorts of every little thing that is going on and I i think that at some point they are missing the fun part of the game. Now i know that there is a possibility that i might not be playing next year so i have brought attention to myself that hey my days might be numbered. So every time i go out and pitch i pitch like its the last game ill throw in, and i ll tell ya i’ve been throwing the best i ever have and have had more fun doing that than i have since i was a kid just throwing the ball around. I just wish more people would enjoy the game more rather than treat it as a chore. Thanks for pointing that out in your article.

  2. PUD'NHEAD Says:

    The last sentence in your second paragraph should be required reading for every professional athlete. You never know whose life you are going to impact, and a simple act of kindness goes a long way. Good luck in Rancho this season, hoss.

  3. anonymous Says:

    More eloquently stated, wise words of wisdom as always. However, I challenge that you know you’re still almost equally as concerned with the post-game snack as you were in your youth. Some things never change :p

  4. Earl McGuire Says:

    That snack food remark was right on the money. I love baseball. keep on blogging keeps us baseball fans excited.

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