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My son liked to play baseball but was never great at it. He wasn't talented
enough to play high school ball but he played summer ball whether it was Little
League or Babe Ruth, He never made any all star teams or such. He was just
good enough to start. Most of all, he liked to play Babe Ruth ball with his
friends. The boys just had a good time even though success was hard to find.
During a Senior Babe Ruth game one night, my son was playing first and a fly
ball was hit behind first into short right field. He turned and hustled to make an
over the head catch that Willie Mays would have been proud of. I just stood
there not believing what I just saw. I was in awe. Before I could make my way
out of the dugout (I was on scorebook duty) to congratulate him, he had
already returned the ball to the pitcher and was in stance for the next defensive
play. With the next pitch, a ball was hit to second and he dropped a perfect
throw at first. I told him when he came in how pretty the fly ball catch was and
then asked him what happened on the throw from second. I can remember
how fast his smile changed into a lowered head. To this day, I regret not
making a bigger deal out of the great catch. And now I can't. My son was killed
almost two years ago, months after making that catch. I want to tell the dads
out there to make sure you appreciate the memories you have and ones to
come. Make sure your son has a smile on his face after the game. More
importantly, make sure you do to. Always be positive and somehow forget the
"bad". Believe me, winning or losing a baseball game just isn't that important
any more. I would give anything to see that smile again.