I have never been a really dedicated sports fan. However, I am a great fan of my grandchildren. So I compromise during the summer ball season and try to attend at least one game for each grandchild.
Recently I spent a week at the Sater Street diamonds watching the boys’ games, and I surely did learn a lot.
First, I learned that I must remember to take my own lawn chair. Since I’m old, I don’t climb bleachers very well, and getting out of the bleachers from any row but the bottom is a real challenge. This has nothing to do with my innate clumsiness. It’s just an age thing.
Sitting on the bottom row at a baseball game is also a challenge. These kids throw hard and slide into home even harder. Every time a player slides into home, the person sitting on the bottom row back of home plate gets a generous coating of dirt sprayed on them from head to toe. After the first coat of dirt, I also learned to keep my mouth shut when a kid came sliding into home!
I discovered that some things have changed since my boys were in Little League, but not a whole lot.
One evening years ago I took my sons out to the ball park to play. I knew even less about baseball then than I do now. No problem. I just watched the other parents who had kids on our team and did what they did.
After a few innings the game came to a stop, but no one went home. I waited and watched for awhile as both teams stayed in place on the field and the parents conversed in the stands.
Finally I had to ask, “Why aren’t they playing?”
A more experienced spectator answered, “Oh, the pitcher had to go to the bathroom.”
That didn’t happen in any of the games I watched so far this year.
But in one game the play was held up briefly when the batter had to pull up his pants, and another time when the pitcher sat down on the mound to tie his shoe.
One night last week as I watched the older kids play I was in the midst of several of my female friends. We talked about a lot of things, but not about a lot of people.
The next night I sat alone in front of two men. Too bad I didn’t know them because before the game was over I heard all the latest gossip about a lot of people they knew. I always did believe that men complain about women gossiping so we don’t notice how much they gossip.
There was one other thing I learned out at the ball field. There are a whole lot of dads out there volunteering their time when they’d probably rather not, doing a lot of thankless jobs because their boys want to play ball. That’s real love in action. Thanks, Dads
EDITOR’S NOTE: This column was first published in the Greenville Advocate on July 9, 1997.
Kathleen Floyd is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her column Back Around the House II. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.