The pitch came on the rise, probably around 60-70 miles per hour. The batter, though, was focused, dug in and started to bring his hips around. His shoulders followed and the swing brought his hands through to rip one straight for the hole between second base and the second baseman.
Shortstop was idle. On the balls of his feet and prepared to go in any direction… quickly, he had his glove up, eyes up and spirits up.
The second baseman broke for the ball and made the stop. Shortstop, as well as the base runner on first, had already made their break for the second base bag. A quick toss from the second baseman sent the ball floating somewhere above second base rather than sailing into center field.
The shortstop deftly stepped behind the bag while catching the ball, drug his foot across it and fired it back to first and never broke stride.
Two down. Inning’s over.
Sounds like a routine double play for any shortstop. Although, they make it look much easier than it is. But this wasn’t just any shortstop playing ball. It was my Dad. And he’s 57 years old.
Every time I tell a buddy that Dad had a game, they’re incredulous. Hell most of them have been telling me that they’re too old to keep playing and most of them are in their thirties.
Morgan’s refusal to slowdown is becoming somewhat of a local legend. He has friends he grew up playing baseball with that go to the park to watch their boys play against Morgan. And you should hear the trash talk flyin’. 😉
He watched me play ball all the way through high school. But my days in Little League came rushing at me while I sat in the stands last Sunday morning.
Oh, how our perspective changes. I can’t begin to count how many games my Dad and I spent in the reverse roll – him sitting in the stands hoping that the double play goes smoothly and me busting my rear trying to turn it. It was about time I was on the other side – paying back some of the support he had offered me so many times before.
That field was covered with men who truly – truly – understood and appreciated the game.
Little Leaguers are just figuring out the importance of winning. The group that I had the privilege of watching… was just starting to forget.
Somewhere in the middle we get focused on the wrong parts of life. Take a deep breath. Enjoy the game.