~ Phil Jackson
Sunday was Mr. A's first fall ball double header. First, let me just say that I never knew that baseball for kids could last as long as baseball for the pros. Is it October yet?
Mr. A played on the "B" team this summer. For the most part, the boys that he played with have talent and love the game. It was a good fit for Mr. A, his first time out for travel ball. He had a wonderful season, stepping up and making himself invaluable to the team. The team went to State, missed the championship game of the league by 2 runs and Mr. A was elected to the All-Star team. And I thought baseball was over.
Then, the words "fall ball" entered our vocabulary, and Mr. A decided that playing fall ball was better than even thinking about playing football. Fall ball is supposed to be more laid back than regular ball. The boys are told to look on it as a spring training of sorts, and to practice the things that they wanted to do during the regular season, but were unable to, due to the needs of their team.
Not all of the boys who play regular ball end up playing fall ball. And that's where the coaches come in. They need to take 13 boys who love the game, and are good at it, and blend them effortlessly into a team that can go out and play together.
The fall ball coaches, based on just one double header, seem to have done that. There are five boys from Mr. A's regular team and eight boys from the "A" team on the fall ball team. They seem to play well together. Well enough that they won both of their games on Sunday.
I didn't see a huge difference in the abilities of the boys on the "B" team and the boys on the "A" team. It appears to be one of those "it's who you know" things that land you on the "A" team. Since this was the first year that Mr. A played ball with his classmates, being on the "B" team was apparently a given. Our coaches from the regular season have said that four of our boys have a legitimate chance to move up to the "A" team next year. Part of me hopes that happens for Mr. A, as he really wants it, but the rest of me almost hopes that he stays on the "B" team, as I know the coaches and think that ultimately, he'd have a better year. We'll see what happens.
For now, I'm enjoying watching the blend of these two teams, and while I might wish to be sitting in my warm house the next five Sundays as fall descends on the Hinterlands with a vengeance, Mr. A enjoys it too much for me to not.