A Note to Our Past Players: The Things You Didn’t Know
To our alumni boys…
The games are long over. The tears have been shed. Awards passed out. You’ve spread your wings and started college or jobs. Coach got to give his final speech … but now it’s my turn.
You know us. We’ve watched some of you play since Little League. You know our nine-year-old son gets just as dirty as you did during games, as he runs along the fence line sliding and practicing pop ups. You know our kindergartener wanted so badly to get close to you, but then would get so shy she couldn’t speak. You know the baby is still trying his best to catch that dugout gate open so he can be right there with the boys. You know Coach is proud as he can be of you, but part of his heart graduates every year.
There’s a lot you don’t know, too, though.
You don’t know that my oldest was upset each and every time we lost a game. “They just worked so hard, Mama. It’s not fair.”
You don’t know he cried for days after the season ended, and that he drew your names and numbers after he finished tests at school. He wasn’t sad the season was over, he was upset he wouldn’t see “his boys” anymore.
You don’t know my kids will hear a song on the radio years from now and still remember that it was your walk-up song.
You don’t know my son has looked up your college schedule and picked out the closest games to home. Or … he knows your college and your major, and has already wondered if you can somehow come back to coach with his daddy one day.
You don’t know that the first time he saw a younger player wear your old jersey, he was genuinely in disbelief. “I know they needed a number, but why’d they have to pick THAT ONE?”
You don’t know they squeal when they see you’ve come home from college and you’re in the dugout with Daddy, but then they’ll try to play it cool.
You see, we always said they grew up with a team of big brothers. And maybe we didn’t know how true that was.
We hope you know that in the minds of these little people (and their parents, too), you’ve made an impact and it shows.
So when you come home to visit your family, don’t forget to come visit ours too. If you’re passing our house on the way out of town and you think about pulling in the driveway, do it. That bonus room in the new house is being built with you boys in mind—a place where the boys can always gather. And if you come to a game, you better give me a hug.
We love you. We are proud of you. And I hope you know that from Little League to high school and wherever life takes you, we will always be cheering for you.
Jennifer is a kindergarten teacher married to a counselor/head baseball coach. They met in college where he played baseball, and she knew they’d never stray far from a ball field. Together, they’ve celebrated 12 coaching seasons so far, 11 years of marriage, and 3 beautiful children (ages 9, 6, and 2).