This kid of mine LOVES baseball. Seriously. He loves everything about it. He loves being a part of a team. He loves great coaches that help make the team feel like family. He loves improving his game year over year, and season over season… Outside of little league, and watching his friends and cousin play – his favorite MLB team (right now) is the Washington Nationals. His favorite player is Bryce Harper.
My boys just turned 10 years old a week ago. As a birthday gift for our baseball fanatic, his dad bought tickets to tonight’s Giants game, where the visiting team is none other than the Nationals. PERFECT GIFT. A little dad and son time. A chance for the kid to see his favorites right here where my favorite team plays…. My kids have been to plenty of games, but this was a big deal.
Maybe you all don’t eat, sleep and breathe baseball, like we do around here. Maybe you didn’t see the spectacle that took place at the game on Monday. Just in case you missed it, here is a little glimpse at what took place:
Giant’s pitcher, Hunter Strickland, pitched a ball right at Bryce Harper and hit him in the hip- apparently over some hurt feelings from a few years back, during a play off season (in a year the Giants won the World Series). Rather than take his walk to first base, Harper went straight toward Strickland, threw his helmet, and fists started flying. Seriously ridiculous.
Now, I am usually as entertained as anyone, watching a bench clearing brawl on the ball field…. But, this one I am looking at through the point of view of my 10 year old. Of the kid who thinks Bryce Harper is the absolute BEST player right now. He heard about the fight, and thought it was crazy. We watched the clip, he defended the fact that Harper stormed Strickland after that pitch….sadly, he said he would have done the same. Then I told him that both players will likely face suspension. His heart broke. He was so upset. He even teared up. KILLED ME.
His idol and team are here, and he has second row tickets next their dugout at AT&T Ballpark… and he doesn’t get to see this guy play. Maybe if he is lucky, he will catch Harper during batting practice or on the way to the dugout to support his team. I hope he is able to get some autographs and that he sees a great game. I am disappointed for him, that ego trumped sportsmanship this week and he will miss out.
Major league ball players are role models to a lot of kids. Usually they are great ones – they show hard work, athletic ability, and teamwork. But as a parent, sometimes you have to explain that they are in fact people, and they do peopley things…. like make bad choices.
Can you imagine…. being 10. Being so excited to see your FAVORITE player play your FAVORITE sport – only to have a bad choice take him out of the game? Ugh. Why do these grown men have to act like kids?!? Oh well. I guess life is full of teachable moments.
We talked about the consequences of Harper’s decision to storm the mound…. I explained that while he thought it was cool or understandable that the fight happened, he is likely not the only fan who is downhearted that their favorite player isn’t playing – not due to injury or some other unforeseen event, but due to a poor choice made by both players. People always have a choice to try and be their very best. Unfortunately, sometimes even the best have bad days.
When Nate is playing we always tell him to have a short memory. Don’t let what already happened in a game hold you back from doing your best. If the previous batter took your pitch for a ride, shake it off, and strike out the next. Short memory. Learn and move on. For the love of the game, do not hold a grudge for years and throw at a player who took you yard. That isn’t a good example for kids to look up to.
I told Nate if he ever pulled something like that – I don’t care how old he is, or how successful of a player he may be…. I would NOT be a happy momma if he chose to purposely hit a player with a pitch or start a bench clearing brawl. And he would hear from me about it. He knows it’s true.
As long as Nate loves the game, I am his number one fan.
Now, I don’t expect any role model to be perfect. Baseball players are as fallible as anyone. Just remember…. no matter who you are, what you do for a living – there may be little eyes (and hearts) watching your every move. Learning from you. Striving to be like you. So, please – always try to be the best version of you that you can be.
#NaterTaterTot #CrazyAsAMother #MyFavoriteDiamondIsDirt #AlwaysBeHumbleAndKind