Wednesday, February 24, 2010

There's No Crying In Baseball...But There Are Lessons To Be Learned

I talked to my wonderfully sarcastic fifteen year old son Ryno yesterday, and he asked me a question that caught me off guard.

He asked…

“Dad? Can you me give me a crash course in baseball?”

I said, “Um…well sure, buddy. Why?”

“Our school is going to have a baseball team this year, and I want to play on it.”, he responded.

I reminded him that he hadn’t played baseball since he was eight or nine and many kids at the High School level have been playing all of their life and are pretty good.

He told me that he understood that, but I could work with him on the game in general and his hitting specifically.

I then said to him…

“You know pal, some pitchers in High School can bring it at 90 miles per hour.”

Ryan said to me…

“I know, but I figure you can take me to the batting cages and help me to hit in the 85 mph cage which amazingly you in your advanced years can still do.”

I said,

“Well honey if that’s what you want me to do I will, but I just want to let you know that there’s a huge learning curve and change between playing when you were eight and now playing against kids who have been playing eight to ten years longer than you have.”

Ryno replied…

“Dad, I know, but I don’t care how bad I play. You see…Our school doesn’t have enough players to field a team if I don’t play. They need me.”

After that response, I told him that I would do whatever he needed me to do. After all, he was doing whatever the school and his friends needed him to do.

Ryno playing High School baseball is just like him volunteering to be the mascot for varsity basketball games after he has played his own JV game because no one else would.

It’s the same thing as when he volunteers to work the concession stand at games. It’s much like when he signs up to visit people at the nursing home near his school.

It’s the same trait in him as when he makes certain to take a bite out of the hot dog or burger he and his mom bring me when I'm at work sometimes because he knows I find that funny.

Ryno, like all of us, has his faults and weaknesses, but not stepping in when help is needed and giving of himself in order to make great things happen or something as simple as making someone smile isn’t one of them.

And yesterday, he did that for me because I and sometimes all of us, forget the lesson he was inadvertently teaching…

That even the simplest acts of kindness that we pass on can make a great deal of difference in the lives of others.

So folks, try to make someone smile today…call up an old friend…open the door for another or simply say hi to a stranger.

Because…

Whether they know it or not, or you know it or not, someone out there needs you.

Cheers!!

43 comments:

Tug said...

Dude. These are my favorite posts...Ryno RAWKS it. You should be (as I know you are) very, very proud.

Awesome.

Matt-Man said...

Tug: Why thanks Tug. Maybe I should become a Daddy Blogger. I talk to him everyday and not a conversation goes by where he doesn't make me laugh or think or love. Cheers Tug!!

Tug said...

ohHELLno! LOL. I like them once in awhile; that way I don't get sick of the OMG HE'S SO WONDERFUL. ;-) Seriously though, you've done good dad, and I'm all squishy inside knowing he makes you laugh/think/love. Cheers.

Matt-Man said...

Tug: Ha...Well thanks and seeing you type the word "squishy" makes me feel the same way. Cheers Tug!!

3 Men and a Lady said...

Awww you are such a good dad! And he sounds like a great son! That's quite remarkable that he's such a helpful guy, many teenagers these days are too self absorbed and selfish to be so considerate. You've done well, Matt!

Matt-Man said...

Lady: Well thanks, but c'mon the boy has got a HUGE ego, but you're right selfish is one thing he is not.

As for the doing well thing? His mom and I agree on one thing. Her and I have managed to not mess him up.

He came out of the womb pretty much a sweet, happy child. We got lucky. Some kids are just born that way. Much of his pleasantness is not because of anything we have done. Cheers D!!

katherine. said...

I love baseball...if I had a few thousand dollars laying around I'd buy season tickets in a heart beat.

well...even if he did come out of the womb a sweet happy child you gotta take a little credit.

nature or nurture he's at least fifty percent you!

hey batter...batter...

Matt-Man said...

Kat: I love baseball too. If I hadn't been slower than hell and getting cortisone shots in my right arm at the age of 14 I'd be playing today.

And yeah...I always take a little credit. How could I not? Sometimes he makes me look so good. Swiiinnnnnnnnnnng. Cheers Kat!!

Jay said...

Ryno rocks! Hell, I bet even Gary Gardenhire would like Ryno. ;-)

Seriously though, Ryno is a great kid. Also? Just teach him to lean into the first inside slider and take one form the team. haha

Matt-Man said...

Jay: Why thanks but as for Gary...I think he only likes hizzelf.

Ryno would be more than willing to lean in, after all he was on the receiving end of six charges during the Basketball season this year.

I didn't even think refs called that anymore. He can act well when he wants to. Cheers Jay!!

Mike said...

I don't know how you got ahold of Matt-mans blog, but we're going to find out who you are and hunt you down.

Matt-Man said...

Mike: Ha...You crack me up. I have my softer side. Cheers to ya Mike!!

Desert Rat said...

Okay, so maybe he won't be able to hit a fast ball rolling in at 90 mph, but he might be able to smack a change-up or breaking ball, bunt? Sac fly? Perhaps he can just take the BOB and suck up a few bruises. What position does he want to play? If he's tall and fast but doesn't want TOO much action, maybe third base? Although I do like me some outfield action.

He's a good lad, you're son.

The Covert Lover said...

Awww! He really is a great teen. I wish I could send a couple of my sisters to 'ya - maybe y'all could help them not be $#@^$#. But then again, they might corrupt Ryno, so maybe that's a bad plan.

I absolutely love that pic of the two of you head to head. :)

Scott Oglesby said...

He really is a sweet kid isn’t he? Damn, I didn’t pick up that trait until later in life. I didn’t even play unless I knew I was starting. Anyway, if he can get to the batting cages 3 or 4 times a week and start to hit the fastballs consistently, he’ll do well.

Congrats on having an amazing human being as a son! He really is!

Matt-Man said...

Rat: One of the first things we're going to work on is bunting because it drives me nuts that today, even in the Majors, no one knows how to lay down a bunt. He has a decent arm so maybe right field may be an option. Cheers Rat!!

Covert: Thanks and send your sisters on over. Maybe Ryno can charm them into being pillars of society. He has the gift. Cheers Lover!!

Matt-Man said...

Scott: He's a keeper. The boy has no bat speed. I have to show him how to snap the wrists over in the blink of an eye.

Love him or hate him, steroids or not, Barry Bonds had one of the fastest swings I have ever seen. And that's where it all comes from. Cheers Scott!!

Micky-T said...

From big B-ball to little B-ball. Good for him, let's him outside for awhile to breath some fresh air and run on the ground.

Matt-Man said...

Micky: Oh I agree with ya MIck but...

I also want to make sure that I inoculate him against the reality that while he can and does step on to a basketball court and sink three point shots with grace and ease, him playing baseball ain't gonna be nearly as pretty. Cheers Mick!!

Micky-T said...

I hear ya, but isn't it all about the fun.....and chicks?

Matt-Man said...

Micky: To a large degree it is, but I know Ryno. As good natured as he is, he does not like to lose or to not do well himself.

Man, I wish he had that same attitude towards his classes. Cheers Mick!!

David said...

A great post. I can sleep peacefully knowing that he will choose your nursing home with great care. hehe

Matt-Man said...

David: Ha, Good One. I am sure he'd pick the one that has the hottest looking staff so he has a reason to come visit me. Cheers David!!

Doc said...

I think I'm gonna call Gary Gardenhire and pretend I am you and make out errr... up with him.

Matt-Man said...

Doc: I appreciate that, but there's no need. I will be doing just that on here tomorrow. Cheers Doc!!

Evil Twin's Wife said...

If you do nothing else in life, you can rest knowing that you have raised an amazing person. He'll go far in life, fast batter or not....

Matt-Man said...

Evil: Why thanks, but there is no resting assuredly. Sure, he has the potential to go far but oh so many things can happen between now and adulthood...and even in adulthood. Cheers ETW!!

Joker_SATX said...

Great Post!

Matt-Man said...

Joker: Why thank ya sir. I hope you and your mates have a wonderful day in Arkham. Cheers Joker!!

Phfrankie Bondo said...

...some high school pitchers throw 90 mph but not many...tell him to hit the frickin' ball out of the park! He can do it!...now I want a hotdog...

Matt-Man said...

P-Man: Man...Hot Dogs ALWAYS taste better at the ballpark. I will impart these words of wisdom upon Ryno:

"See Dee Ball. Hit Dee Ball"

All is well now. Cheers P-Man!!

Karen said...

I love mushy Matt-Man. :-)

Matt-Man said...

Karen: Ha. Thanks Karen. That made me chuckle. Have a lovely rest of the day. Cheers Karen!!

Lu' said...

Hey you could be the Walter Mathew to their Bad News Bears...

I too like the warm and fuzzy Matt-Man.

I also agree Ryno ROCKS!

Matt-Man said...

Lu: Why thanks my friend, and you're right...

Ryno told me that half of the players on the new team haven't played in awhile. While painful to watch, it will still be fun.

Hope you're doing fine. Cheers Lu!!

Lisa B. said...

"Matt-Man" is far more squishy and mushy than you think. He's actually oneof the gentlest people I have ever met. Sorry Matt. I let your secret out.

Matt-Man said...

Lisa: I hate you for that. Don't tell Gary Gardenhire. Cheers Lisa!!

Angell said...

You raised one hell of a kid there Matt-Man. It's redundant to say you should be proud of him, but hell, I'll say it anyway.

I'M even proud of the kid and I don't know him. But knowing that at his age he's that good, gives me faith and hope for the future.

Thanks for sharing him with us.

Dana said...

*warm smile*

Matt-Man said...

Angell: Ha. Why thanks, but don't get me wrong...The boy has his share of screw ups, but his positive points are pretty damn good. Cheers Angell!!

Dana: Well if that's the case, I did today what I was asking others to do. Cheers to ya Dana!!

Four Dinners said...

In England Baseball is known as 'Rounders' and is played by pretty young girls wearing little gymslip skirts.

Guess which version is infinitely more entertaining?

Clay Perry said...

that was so sweet it was sickening.. LOL.. i love those moments... the genuine nature of it is what makes me grin..

Matt-Man said...

Four: That sounds hot...Especially watching young girls bend over to stop a ground ball. Cheers FD!!

Clay: Ha...It is a cute story, What I find amusing about it is that I wrote it right after doing a hit piece on Gary Gardenhire. Cheers Clay!!