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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

From my Front Porch

Wednesday, April 10, 2002

Father and son, like two baseballs in a glove

Sports have been an important part of my husband's life for most of his 48 years. He has coached almost every sport there is except maybe soccer, which he jokingly refers to as a "communist sport." This time of the year, he coaches high school baseball which means that for the next few months our family will be eating, drinking, and sleeping the apple pie of sports.

It is ironic that a man who has been catching and throwing a ball practically since the day he was born ended up married to a woman who attended her first baseball game after the wedding and has been known to refer to a home run as a touchdown and vice versa. Though I have done my best to learn about the sports he loves I still struggle with many of the intricacies involved.

Last year, while attending my first major league game as a guest of one of the St. Louis Cardinals, I learned a little late that the competing teams warm up on the field simultaneously. The hour before the game we were allowed to stand down on the field in the visitor's section and get a close up look at Andy Benes and Mark McGwire with their teammates taking batting practice and warming up. I honestly did not realize that the Atlanta Braves were on the field getting ready to play, as well.

So you can just imagine what my avid baseball fan of a son thought when his mom asked in her typically loud voice and within an arm's length of some of the greatest athletes of all time, "Why are the players wearing different color uniforms?"

Lately, though, I do think I have become a bit more in tune to the world of sports. While performing in a local theatrical production a few weeks ago, I had the entire cast and crew, including our dyed-in-the-wool New York director, referring to intermission as "halftime."

but I still have my lapses. I have to remind myself to check the station being watched now that we have satellite television and can access a Classic Sports network. Father and son can not only watch today's game, but they can also catch yesterday's game from several years ago or even decades back. I have to be careful not to make silly comments such as, "You mean he is still playing ball," or "I thought he was dead."

Then there is the matter of the difference between an umpire and a referee and that the game of football has both and that runs are like points only different.

Hanging on the wall of our den is a 36-year-old picture of a 12-year-old boy standing proudly with his teammates. Even if someone has never met this now grownup boy and has only met his son, they would have absolutely no trouble deciding which little leaguer pictured is now a coach. He and his player son are like two baseballs in a glove, in more ways than one.

On the same wall hangs the old red cap worn in the picture taken so many years ago. It was the first of too-many-baseball-caps-to-count collected by our family over the years, each one holding special memories of games won and lost, balls hit and missed, and dreams hoped for and realized.

Dreams that include for our son, one day becoming a coach like his father and having his own little league picture and old baseball cap hanging on a den wall next to the television where he will watch yet-to-be played ballgames on classic sports television.