T-Ball with the Sand Gnats and the Magicby Andy Morales on Apr. 07, 2013, under Sports
There are no lineup cards, no errors, no scorebooks and no umpires. There are pink bats and pink gloves. Kids are drawing in the sand or waving to their moms in the stands. And everyone is having fun.
Saturday morning T-Ball games are where most boys and girls learn the basics about swinging a bat, throwing to first base, running the bases and coming home. They all started here, from Derek Jeter to Jennie Finch, but chances are very slim that even one of the 20 or so preschoolers that played at Arthur Pack on Saturday morning will ever swing a bat in high school much less in college or in the pros. And that’s OK.
The smiles on the faces of the Sand Gnats and the Magic as they ran to first base tells a complete story of what the game of baseball is all about. Although some kids may cry or others may be more interested in a blade of grass in the outfield, the game is always for fun.
The fun starts to end when parents are no longer allowed to carry their son’s or daughter’s bat bag out of fear that a college coach or scout will see them helping their kids or when a dad sits behind the backstop with a radar gun to see how fast his kid is pitching – to see how much better his boy is than the others.
But the fun doesn’t have to end when competition gets more serious. There’s nothing wrong with a coach from one team telling a player from another that she made a great play. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with postgame snacks provided by concerned moms! I bet you will find dozens of major leaguers who would love to have their moms deliver sliced oranges or juice boxes to the club house after a game.
The Sand Gnats are named after the Mets minor league team out of Georgia and the Magic is a softball team comprised of 11 young girls.
I couldn’t tell you what the score was but it was probably a lot to a lot because everyone crossed home plate (several times) but the score doesn’t matter when kids are having fun. Oh, I’m sure there was a dad or two who kept track on where their son or daughter hit the ball but they forget that there will be plenty of time for that later.
I saw kids playing their positions, kids throwing with great form, kids hitting the ball hard and kids listening to their coaches. What more could you ask from a 16-year-old much less a player who is only four or five?
The TucsonCitizen.com is probably the last publication to cover youth and Little League sports. Look for more coverage over the next few weeks and into the summer.