Diana was able to join us for Elijah’s last baseball game of the season. She couldn’t have picked a better day. The weather was glorious. Eli got hits without the painful chopping down a redwood with a butter knife futility and I actually engaged the other parents in real conversation like a human being. We really put on a show for mommy.
After the game, Eli’s coach had everyone take a knee and gave a heartfelt speech about what an honor it was to watch them play. I was rather touched by his emotion.
Immediately afterwards, we all went to Eli’s other coach’s house for some baseball themed BBQ (hot dogs), and the team inexplicably played soccer in the yard.
While I drank baseball themed alcohol (beer), I chatted with one of the moms about how great it will be when the team gets together next year.
The mom’s face darkened. “They won’t be playing together next year.”
I learned that in the 9 and 10 year olds baseball, only three kids from every school are allowed on each team. Plus, it’s kid pitch instead of coach pitch. They also rank kids’ ability. And the worst news is it’s three strikes and you’re out.
I got a sinking feeling. Like the ownership of Andy’s Custard Chillers was moving the team to Cleveland. I felt like the mathematical equation above equated to Eli falling out of love with baseball.
On our way home, I explained the whole system to Eli and told him the only way he’d be able to play next year is if he actually practiced.
Eli said, “Um. I’m not sure I want to play baseball next year.”
Luca immediately piped in, “I definitely not playing baseball next year. Definitely.”
I hope this isn’t the end of an era. But if it is, I’ll have comfort in knowing I got to see my son play little league. And bitch about it the whole time.