Damon has been playing Little League ball for several years now. (Actually, I don’t think it’s officially called “Little League” anymore, but I have no idea what the correct term is… and everyone seems to recognize Little League, so we’re going with that!) And like a good mom, I attend most of his practices/games. I cross my fingers every time he gets up to bat and every time a ball comes his way in the field.
But I have to be honest for a minute and tell you that I find Little League baseball to be incredibly boring. Seriously snore-worthy. It’s driven me crazy for years now that the boys steal their way home… all. the. time. Makes for a very long, very monotonous game… and, really, doesn’t demonstrate any kind of talent, on either end (from my POV, anyway! My husband, Coach Nick, would probably disagree with me on that point.).
The beginning of this Spring season was much like any other year. But, then, a few weeks ago, suddenly the boys came alive out there. They started hitting the ball. And they started making plays in the field. And it’s become increasingly harder for them to steal their way home… because these boys are out there now actually playing a game of baseball! Damon’s team has improved sooo much since April… and it’s been really fun to watch that happen.
Somehow, the Weirton Cubs made their way into the play-offs. I have no idea how that all works, but I know that they weren’t projected to be a great team going into it… and the beginning of the season didn’t start off with a bang. So, when they made the play-offs, I was pleasantly surprised… and beyond excited for the boys (especially MY boys… Damon and Coach Nick). Not only did they make the play-offs, but… they’re actually winning these play-off games!
For whatever reason, I’ve missed the last few games. I think last night’s game was the first play-off game I’ve attended. And I take back everything I ever said about Little League games being boring!!!! Last night’s game was anything but. These boys are not only playing ball out there… they’re playing to WIN. I kid you not, the energy on and around that field last night was comparable to an energized Pirates game. I enjoyed watching last night’s game as much as I’ve enjoyed any Pirates game… and not just because my son was playing (it really wasn’t a great night for Damon, and he’s had a streak going lately, so he was a little disappointed), but because it was just a GOOD, entertaining ballgame!
It was a scoreless game until the 6th inning, but not a boring scoreless game. Bases were loaded, by both teams, several times. It was seriously a cut-throat game. Finally, at the top of the 6th, Damon’s team got some runs on the board… 4 runs to be exact. Four runs in one inning, when the rest of the game had been scoreless, is pretty darn exciting!! Then the other team scored 2 runs in the bottom of that inning. But our boys played some great defense and held them off, winning it 4-2.
Aside from great ball, the “crowd” there was awesome, too. Moms, dads, sisters, brothers, grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, cousins… you name it, everyone is coming out for these nailbiting play-off games, apparently! We were in the bleachers jumping up and down and screaming and cheering… it was fabulous!! And then, the rains came. It didn’t just sprinkle a little… it downpoured. But we were still out there, jumping up and down and screaming and cheering… and getting soaked to the bone.
You know how much I love my Pirates. I do. I love them. And I love going to the games at PNC Park because it’s so much fun to be part of an energized crowd… to jump to your feet when a ball sails over the wall. To cheer and boo and all that fun stuff. But, I’m tellin’ ya, Damon’s game last night was just as good… maybe even better… than any Pirates game I’ve ever been to.
The Weirton Cubs are now in the Top Four, heading to the semi-finals this Wednesday. And, instead of dreading a long night at the field, I’m soooo looking forward to it!!
Let’s Go Cubs!!! (Words you’ll never hear from my mouth when referring to anything but Little League ball, I can guarantee you! lol)