I survived. I can say this now that baseball season is over. It has been one of the craziest things I have ever done for my child (besides that whole giving birth thing). So let me start this story a few years ago when we wanted our oldest to start playing tee ball…
He was just 5 years old, and we thought our church league tee ball would be a good fit for him. And it was. It worked well with our hectic schedule, and he got to learn the game. But after 2 years, we were looking at different options. So we asked around about other leagues. Come to find out, his good friend played for a town league that seemed pretty legit. So the next year we signed him up for that league. And that’s where this story gets interesting…
1. They had a draft (literally) for the little kids!
When I say draft, what I really mean is DRAFT. Yes, they all practiced some skills. The coaches watched them and took notes. Then they fought over who they wanted or didn’t want. Crazy thing, we had scheduled a trip that weekend prior to knowing the dates. So we missed it. They just picked those kids names out of a hat. Ya, works for me…
2. They gave me a list of things to buy before the first practice
Since I missed the whole draft thing, I got called the next day right when I got home from our trip. I was basically read a laundry list of things to know and buy. “Uniforms are only $25, but that just includes the jersey and the hat. He will need red baseball socks, gray baseball pants, and a red baseball belt.” What? Where do I even buy this stuff? His old bat will work right? “Nope, he will need a new one for coach pitch. Maybe a 14” something or other.” What? I didn’t know there were so many different types of bats…
3. Practice was 3 times a week (past his bedtime!)
They had practice for an hour and a half. Whoa! And one school night it started at 7. His normal bedtime is no later than 8. And now, he would be practicing til 8:30 and not getting home til 9.
Oh, and I did tell you that we were coming off of practice maybe once a week, right? And we both work… and have other younger kids. And let’s not forget the traffic. Did I ever tell you that my husband and I both enjoy time at home? Like we only try to have plans just one night on the weekends. We like our down time. Let’s just say, we were beyond shocked.
Here’s another interesting tidbit. That field that they practice on is basically a huge baseball park with around 15 baseball fields. It covers a huge area. So when I was told practice on Monday would be on Field 1 and on Friday would be on Field 4 and batting cages would be by Field 10… I was clueless. Like parked in the wrong parking lot, walked around aimlessly for a good 10 minutes, asked an elderly man where Field 1 was, and he had to help me. And of course, we were late. It was kind of a catastrophe. Don’t even get me started on getting team pictures… walked like 2 miles to get there with people texting me asking where I am since we were holding everyone up. Ya, I struggled.
4. For the first few weeks, every time I left practice, I was told something else to buy.
“Does he have a batting helmet?” “He probably will need batting gloves.” “That bat isn’t right. He needs a wider barrel.” What? What are you people talking about? They have batting gloves? Do you know bats are expensive. Are there a plethora of sizes for helmets too?
5. Baseball is expensive
Totally an understatement. I paid a decent registration fee. I even paid a big chunk of the fundraiser he was required to raise to play. Oh, and we had to pay for the uniforms too. Okay, okay. I can kinda handle all that. But then I needed all this equipment. And baseball stuff is not cheap. And Walmart doesn’t sell a lot of it. You are talking about sporting goods stores (that are not known for their stellar prices). I do not even want to add up all that I spent for one baseball season for one child. Trust me, it is too much. I bought my daughter a ukelele to kinda even it out…
6. I learned a new vocabulary
Again, I had no idea, and I thought I did. I know the positions. I know the basic concept of the game. But I did not know what a pitch back was. Or a pitching machine. Or soft toss. Or the knob of the bat. There is probably a lot more that I can’t even list because I still don’t know it.
7. Our team has an app we use to keep up with the games and attendance
When I say this league was legit, it really was. It had an app! For little kids. You can keep up with the game at home. You RSVP for the games. Seriously, who knew? (Obviously all those baseball moms knew…)
8. At the first game, I realized I was improperly dressed.
Yes, and I thought I was ready. I got my little baseball player all that he needed, even cleats to match his uniform. I felt like I had it together. We all got ready for his big opening day games. We put on our cute baseball hats. We wore cute casual clothes. Like we were trying to at least look like a semi-athletic family. But then we got there, and everyone was wearing monogrammed baseball shirts or team shirts saying whose mom or dad (or grandma) they were. And don’t even get me started on the accessories. I saw baseball earrings, cute baseball totes, and awesome baseball lawn chairs. I didn’t know… I just didn’t know…
9. After the first game, I realized I couldn’t afford to be properly dressed.
So when I got home, I looked for those types of clothes online. I need a baseball shirt that says “Baseball Mom” or “I teach my kids to hit and steal.” Crazy things like that. Oh and let’s not forget that tote. But we are talking $25+ for the shirts. I found the totes used for $15. Nope, I already forked over my monthly paycheck to this league. They can’t take this too! So I did what any reasonable mom would do and went to Walmart.com and ordered team (they were named after an MLB team) items. Hat for my husband. Shirt for me and my daughter. Spent a whopping $30. It worked. Now at least it looked like I supported my son.
10. Watching your child up to bat is the hardest thing a parent has to do.
Coach pitch. That means your son doesn’t hit it off a tee any more. He has to hit it as someone is throwing it at him. It just tears me up inside. Everyone is watching your child. And the coach can throw out like 6 pitches or something before it’s considered a strike out. So that’s a long time. And I saw my son strike out quite a few times (like all the kids did). You just wish you could help, but you are just utterly helpless. But it is amazing when they hit the ball all alone without you. Talk about a confidence booster.
11. We were right. He developed a true love for the sport.
So after all those inconvenient practices, miles walked at some huge baseball park, games that didn’t end til my bedtime, and the money I burned through, we realized we made the right decision. He learned so, so much. He developed a love for the sport. And he made some great friends.
Would we do it all again? Yup, I am joining the baseball mom club (if only I can find a shirt…). I cheered him on. I loved watching him improve. I almost teared up when his coach pulled him aside at his last game and told him how proud he was of him. So ya, just take all my money and time, baseball. My son is worth it.
Until Next Time,