Monday, September 30, 2013

Monday Memory: The Baseball Years

My younger brother, Kasey, played baseball every year he was able. He started with T-ball, and graduated from high school as a captain of the varsity team. I'm sure he could fill several books and blogs with years and years worth of memories, but those are his stories to tell, and I'm sure I don't remember any of them accurately anyway.

What I do remember though are the years when it seemed that when Kasey played baseball, our whole family played baseball. When Kasey graduated from Pee-Wee to organized and sanctioned Little League, our baseball world got serious. There were actual try-outs and team drafts. There were uniforms that needed washed and pressed, and a concession stand schedule that needed filled. My dad spent a few of those years an as assistant coach, and my mom spent several years in charge of the concession stand.

(Kasey's first year in Little League. Wasn't he the cutest?) 

Our springtime evenings were filled with figuring out who was going home to do all the chores, and who was going to Kasey's game or practice. Crock-pot, or leftover dinners were quite common on busy nights. On game nights, especially if my mom was manning the concession stand, we'd all just eat dinner at the baseball field. Inevitably, someone would have flaked on their scheduled concession stand shift, so I'd get volunteered by my mom to work. I have a very specific memory of reading through college catalogs my senior year in between serving hotdogs and pumping squirts of bright orange nacho cheese on to handfulls of tortilla chips.

I also watched a lot of baseball during those years. I was always impressed that my brother was one of the few players who could bat both left- and right-handed. I got frustrated along with others in the stands when the kid who went through numerous hit-the-cutoff-man drills in practice, continually failed to do so in a game situation. I always knew enough about the players on my brother's teams to know when to expect a strike-out, and when to expect a line drive or a long ball.

Baseball was such a huge part of our family's springtimes, that even after Kasey graduated and went to college, my parents still went over to watch the games. I think it was just a part of their routine, and well, they probably missed it more that they cared to admit.

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