Field of Dreams or Field of Realities?

We sit on the sidelines of the Little League field two or three evenings a week and watch the drama unfold as our kids rise to new heights or fall victim to unfair calls, frustrated teammates and inconsistent performance. Some nights, one kid will have the magic bat, other kids will have the golden glove, but the wins are fleeting and the losses are heartbreaking. The drama rivals anything Puccini or Shakespeare could have conjured.

We have all walked a kid off the field, holding his breath, willing himself not to cry at the finality and cruelty of it all. And then, the second we’re in the car, the tears flow in streams of mud and sweat as they look straight ahead and knuckle off their eyelids.

They get up in the morning to face their conquerors in the school cafeteria, ready for another shot at it, knowing their chances are as good as anyone’s. This is life. This is America. It’s good.

And then, once in a while, it’s great. There are transcendent moments that remind us why we let our kids do this crazy thing that threatens to ruin their self-esteem (or at least, wreck a really nice weekend). There’s the kid that offers to play for the other team because they are short-handed and might otherwise have to forfeit. There’s the coach that questions a call on behalf of the opponent. There are the younger kids cheering on the sideline and just willing the underdogs to win – and they do.

After a particularly bitter loss last week, one of my son’s coaches sent this link out and asked the kids to show it to their parents. I double-dog-dare you to watch this video without a backhand swipe at your own eyes.

http://sports.espn.go.com/broadband/video/videopage?videoId=3380875

Please post a comment with your spring baseball and softball stories.

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