Where the Dandelions Grow

 In Notes, Thoughts & Personal Expressions

“I want to be pitcher.

Put me in.

I can do it.

Okay then let me play first base.

I want the ball.”

This was me in 1984 as a 10-year old. I would ask my Father who was the head coach of my little team these words all game, every game. He never gave in.

I am pictured in the team photo to the left. I’m standing in the back row on the right. One of my most important people in this world is also in this photo. My buddy Chuck is standing in the back row on the left. (Chuck is quick to point out that this is probably the last time we were the same height). Unfortunately my parents were in Europe the day this photo was taken, so my Father is not in it.

As for the baseball season, I never got special treatment as the coaches son. Rather, I was placed where my strengths were best amplified. Occasionally in the infield, but mostly in the outfield. I still remember kicking up dirt, picking dandelions and paying attention to the roar of parents on another field after a run scoring single or double.

Then it happened:

Left field.

Pop fly.

I got underneath it.

Caught the ball.

And the parents on our field cheered for me. Including my Father.

I have loved the outfield ever since, and had no desire to be pitcher after that year. My Father had it right. As a head coach he knew my strength. He knew way before I realized what I was good at, and how I could best help the team.

“I want to be pitcher.

Put me in.

I can do it.

Okay then let me play first base.

I want the ball.”

Now as a baseball coach for 9 years myself I hear the words all the time.
And each time I think back to my Father and I smile.

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