Thursday, May 3, 2012
Missie Lou is playing Mini-Ball this spring. "What is Mini-Ball?" you ask. Well, it's the very first foray a child has into the action packed world of youth baseball. It's for 5 & 6 year-olds and any resemblance it has to actual baseball is purely incidental. Well, ok, it is played on a diamond. The children do have mitts. And they do hit the ball with a bat. But, there the similarities end. They put the whole team out on the field. And it's hilarious to watch when the ball comes at them. Those kids, they dogpile and fight for the ball. And then the winner comes up with it and parades proudly in the infield, while the coach and all the parents are all yelling, "Throw it to first" or "throw it home!" and the kids just stands there grinning. Until he actually hears what is being yelled, and then he gets this serious look on his face and he throws it for all he's worth.... somewhere. Sometimes he aims, sometimes he just throws. Nobody ever catches a ball. Except by accident. Tonight, the kid who was at the pitcher's position (they don't actually pitch) stuck his hand in the air at a fly ball, and I'll be darned if that ball didn't just drop in his glove. He had the presence of mind to close on it and he was as amazed as everyone else was when he saw he'd caught that ball. And the crowd went wild. Another thing about Mini-ball is.... the entire team bats. Each inning. And they bat off a "t". It works pretty well. Generally, every kid hits the ball. Sometimes they hit the "t" and not the ball, but then they get another chance. They don't count outs. Yes, if a kid gets out, then he's out, but they don't switch sides until every kid has batted. And they don't count runs. So, nobody wins and nobody loses. And after the game the kids run through the tunnel made by the arms of the parents and get their Gatorade and crackers and go home. And that's Mini-ball.