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Baseball and Superstitions

baseball

Our nights have been very busy this summer.  Drew is playing on the summer baseball travel team and weeknight games and practices have filled our evenings for nearly the entire month.  Fortunately, our family loves baseball.  We go to baseball games all of the time, whether they are Drew’s games, minor league or even a Mets Game now and then.  We are a little bit baseball crazy right now!

Baseball is one of my favorite parts about summer.   The games are so unpredictable.  They can be over quickly some nights, and go on for hours on others.  We often laugh at some of Drew’s rituals but admit that all four of us are superstitious  and have our own bits of “crazy” that we have to do to psyche ourselves up before we do certain things.  Drew blesses himself and blows a kiss in the sky to my mom before each at bat.  He carries her mass card in his pocket.  He believes in the power of his “lucky bat”.   Dave told me that before he plays soccer, (he plays a few times a week), he has a superstition about tying his shoes in a certain order and won’t tie his shorts until right before a game.  My superstitions involve me thinking that everything I see is “a sign” of something.  Butterflies, dandelion fluffs, pennies….I always think that they mean something!

Drew’s team is playing in a tournament this weekend.  Two today and two more tomorrow.  Then their season ends with single elimination playoffs which begin on Monday.  The season could go on for another week or so, or all be over as soon as Monday night.  I hope that they do well and get to play it out, but as long as they do their best, they have made us all proud.  They have learned so much this year and have come together so fluidly as a team.  They have become more than just teammates, they have become friends.

Confidence

Helen-Keller-quotes-Optimism-is-the-faith-that-leads-to-achievement.-Nothing-can-be-done-without-hope-and-confidence

My younger son Drew loves baseball.  This year, he is on the summer travel B-Team.  He was so excited when he found out that he had made the team.  He is so proud of his uniform!  He wears number 36, his lucky number.  His team consists of a great group of 5th and 6th grade boys and some really encouraging, supportive and dedicated coaches.  Listening to them cheer each other on is one of my favorite parts of the game.

Drew is a decent player, he is on the small side but works extremely hard to keep up with the kids who are bigger than him.   For what he lacks in size, he makes up for in enthusiasm and spirit.  He has one of the loudest voices on the field, always yelling out instructions to his teammates.

Drew has been struggling with his batting this year.  Since he is small, he has a small strike zone so is often walked.  He loves to steal bases.  He steals every chance he gets, almost always sliding.  I think that he believes the dirtier he gets the better the slide!!  He has been disappointed in himself when it comes to batting though.  This has been causing him to be quite down on himself when he talks about his at bats.  This morning he found a penny and he said he was going to put it in his back pocket for good luck, (we still think every time we find a penny, it is my mom sending us a message telling us she is watching over us).

One of his teammates just got a new bat.  Drew has been envious of the bat since he saw it.  He hadn’t used it yet, but the teammate let him try it out a bit at practice to see if he liked it.  If you can fall in love with an inanimate object, then Drew has found his beloved!!  He had Dave driving him around for days trying to find the bat at several sporting goods stores.  No luck.  Finally, Drew found the bat on line.  It is quite expensive so we told him that if he paid for half, we would pay the rest.  We ordered it on line.  He has been tracking the delivery of it ever since.  It did not arrive in time for today’s game.  He was not very happy about that.  Lucky for him, the boy who had the bat already, let him use it for the game.

First time Drew got up to bat, he hit a line drive to right field!!!!!!  Unfortunately it went right to the right fielder and Drew was out.  I figured he’d be upset, but quite the contrary.  He was beaming!  He kept saying that it was his biggest hit ever!   Then, in the fifth inning, he was up again.   After several foul balls, Drew hit another line drive right over the left fielder’s head!  A double!!!!  To Drew though, it was as good as hitting a home-run.  He could not stop smiling.

What a confidence booster the game was for him today.  He has not stopped talking about it.  He is convinced it was the bat.  He has vividly explained the feeling of the ball hitting the bat over and over to us all afternoon.  He says he has never felt anything like it.  Normally, he has trouble bouncing back after a game if he feels he played badly.  Today, it has been all smiles, and exhilaration.  He can not wait to play in the next game!

After the game, I asked him if he thought it was the lucky penny in his pocket that “helped” him get those big hits tonight.  He told me it was “totally the bat.”  He said that he had forgotten the penny and  showed me what he had in his back pocket instead.  It was my mom’s mass card.  A laminated one that he told me he keeps in his pocket during his games.  So maybe it was the bat, maybe it was his angel grandma, or maybe he just needed that boost of confidence to make him realize that he could do it.  Whatever it was, it was uplifting for me to see that glint of inspiration he has while he looks forward to the next game.

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