Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Play Ball!

Two nights ago, I took the little people to a minor league baseball game.  I made sure I fed them before we left because I didn't want to hear them ask for every single thing that every concession stand offered.  They still asked for stuff.  I knew they would.  They had fries, popcorn, dippin' dots ice cream, funnel cake, and a mega soda.  I forgot my drink in the car and I wasn't about to spend over a dollar for a bottled water so I went without. I was good, I wasn't dying of thirst.

Last year I learned that during any one given game, "they" go through about 60-70 balls.  The number seems a little high but,  that's what I was told.  It seemed unreal because I never see that many balls being passed to the pitcher.  Then again, I usually talk and laugh during the games and don't always see all of the action. 

I hadn't planning on keeping the crew out til midnight but, the game ran into overtime and at the end of each game, kids ages 5-12 are allowed to run the bases.  Since the kids fit perfectly into that age group, why not, right?

As we were yelling, cheering for the wrong team, half paying attention, watching the balls fly into the stands, something amazing happened.  The kids were in the section in front of me, but within hollering distance and all of a sudden a ball came flying from the field into their section.  I watched as a small heard of kids charge for the ball, and I then yelled at Rocco telling him to "GET THAT BALL!"  As the heard broke up and began to walk away who but Rocco, stood up in the middle of the crowd and held up the ball high above his head?  I heard someone yell, "YEAH!! THAT'S My BOY... THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKIN" 'BOUT!!" It was a voice I recognized, and as I saw him coming toward my section I realized, that it was my own loud mouth  praising my Rocco! I was so so proud of him!

We (including the row of 20 somethings behind me) cheered, yelled and as if he made a home run!  Long story short, because we did this until he climbed back to our section, and maybe cheered  a little longer than what people normally do. By the time he reached me, I think he was completely embarrassed (and happy at the same time).

A couple innings later, another ball comes flying into the section.  This time Noahkeem goes running for it and some big kid got it before him and Noahkeem comes running back to me, crying.  I assumed he was just sad that he didn't get the ball. He showed me his hand and said, "He stepped on me!"  His little had was red!  I felt bad for him.  I hugged him.  I couldn't make him any promises that he will have better luck next time and get the next ball. That would be a promise I could not deliver.

What happens next? Somewhere near the 8th inning, we moved to the section to the right of the dug out and (closer to the field). Another player hits the ball and its a foul and the wonderful ref, threw it into the dug out.  The crowd moaned in disappointment, because he chose not to throw it into the stands.  Out of the corner of my eye I see a hand sticking out of the dug out shaking the dusty ball.  Some old guy-the only guy in the front row next to the dug out motioned to Rocco to come quick.  I thought to myself, "I taught the kids not to talk to strangers, what did this man want with my son?, what is he going to do to him?"

  Rocco hesitated- I'm assuming because he had the same thought process, but went over when the old guy said, " Come here quick, he wants to give you the ball".  Rocco went over quickly with a smile on his face and grabbed the ball out of the anonymous player's hand  that was sticking out of the dug out and said thank you.

I thought to myself, "TWO BALLS IN ONE NIGHT? My son got two balls in one night? "  I then silently asked God, "Is this you showing up again God?" "Is this more of your favor, that we would get 2 balls in one night?"  "Did you see that Noahkeems little hand got stepped on, and you wanted to hand deliver a ball to him?"  "Thank you, God, I think you made his night".

After Rocco got over his excitement of the second ball, and with little persuading, I kindly asked him if he would give the ball to his bro, and with out blinking an eye he did.  I thought Noahkeem was gonna jump out of the ballpark.  His eyes lit up, and he was bursting with excitement, because he too had a ball!  By this time, his hand didn't hurt and all he could think about was this ball in his hand!   He had a dusty ball that touched the field, that was actually  in play, and was hand delivered- just for him.  So happy for him!

I'm thanking God today that He leaves no one out, that he never forgets, and that every once in a while He hand delivers the goods.

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