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The Boys Are Back In Town

This is a story about a super baseball team and a super storm.

Admittedly, up to his senior year, son #2's high school baseball career was as painful as Michael Jordan's was in basketball.  (Jordan was cut and fought his way back on the team...son #2 had a JV coach who begged to keep him because he saw potential where the varsity coach saw none).  At a showcase his junior year, an assistant coach for a southern college saw him pitch and liked him, but alas, he was only there scouting position players and catchers.

The coach was ultimately recruited to be the head coach at a D1 school on the Canadian border.  After assessing his team, the first recruit he called was my son. He received a sports scholarship when up to that point, had only pitched in one varsity high school game. Talk about seeing potential.

One rainy April Saturday during his freshman year, and the only weekend the team played in our state, Wingman made a call to the coach.With the team being only 45 minutes away, he offered to have us host a home-cooked meal for the team. A couple of hours later, the Purple Eagle bus pulled up in front of the house, and we fed 30 young men and their coaches. It was a night Wingman talked about proudly until he died, even though I did most of the cooking with my mom.

When #2 was a senior, his older brother got engaged and his Korean fiance came to live with us to learn English.  One evening, there was a heated "discussion" going on between she and Wingman over God-knows-what.  As I grabbed my referee shirt, the phone rang. It was #2 wanting to have a chat.  Hearing the shrieks from downstairs, I said with some exasperation in my voice "Is there anything important you want to tell me?  I have to go break up a fight."  He replied "Mom, I hit a home run today."

This is a kid who had maybe three at-bats in high school. This was his first and only at-bat in college. Getting up to the plate is a big deal.  Getting a hit is incredible.  Hitting a homer puts you in the books. And as luck would have it, it was during a televised cancer charity game. Wingman got a copy of the tape and made it into a video. And on some of my sad days, I watch it, to remember not only this fun moment, but to remind me to enjoy life, because these moments pass far too soon.

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