Not SUCH a Tall Tale

Spring Ball
In early spring, Little League teams are on baseball diamonds nearly every evening. In the north, if it is not rainy, cold, or blowing hard, then it is not spring baseball. Parents in parkas and mittens stomp in place to keep blood in their toes. I once saw a sixth grader pitch a 45-mile per hour fastball, which slowed to 15 mph as it crossed home plate, because the cold took the heat right out of it. Even with the bone-chilling cold, the game remains competitive. The players play to win. There are rivalries among the town teams, and arguments and agreements the next day in the schoolyard about why she should have been out, who had the best catch, and why the ump favors the other team. One evening, Wendell, a gifted sixth grade pitcher, was on the mound, playing to win, and concentrating by pitching hot and straight. His team was leading by three, but the bases were loaded with one out. Kathy, a fourth grader with ruffled socks, was up to bat for her first time ever. Her first base coach glanced at Wendell on the mound; Wendell looked him in the eye, smirked, and jerked his chin up, as if to say, "Watch this." He slow lobbed perfect strikes. On the third pitch, Kathy hit a short grounder near the mound. Wendell scooped it, ran, and then tagged the runner going home. He could have thrown Kathy out at first, too, but did not; instead, he winked at her first-base coach.



Great descriptive writing Jack! I was right there with Ya! What a fun story! That pitcher is going places.... Glad your\'e having fun out there watching those kids play - despite the temperatures.... Weyah tha flannel!