Originally posted on Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 11:23am
I feel I need to explain the circumstances regarding Quinn's first base hit which occurred yesterday and give a bit of background. Not only for you all out there in cyberspace but so I can cement this most excellent memory in my head.
Quinn is, as you all probably know by now, the smallest kid on the team. Any team. His 1st grade buddy towers over him. Most of the kids on the team are at least head and shoulders taller than him. Most of the time, this doesn't bother Quinn but it does occasionally get him down.
Secondly, Quinn has struck out every time he's been at bat this season. He connected with the very first pitch of the season but fouled it. Every pitch since has been a swing and a miss.
Third, I call Quinn a dork. I get grief about this from parents sometimes but there is a reason for it. First, Quinn (like his mother) IS a dork. He has always been (and I hope he always will be) a non-conformist. He's a uniquely unique individual who definitely marches to the beat of his own drummer. He does not look like, act like, think like, or behave like most kids. He's fine with that. However, society has been know to, on occasion, ridicule the dorks of the world.
My thought is this... if his own mother calls him a dork with love, laughter and as a term of endearment (whether others realize I mean it as this or not) it won't hurt so bad when someone someday calls him that with less than fond intentions. I want Quinn to celebrate his dorkdom and if others don't get it... that's their problem.
So... on with the baseball story...
Quinn's ball team is made up of some exceptional athletes, some average athletes and... Quinn. Some kids on some teams in some places in the world would not want Quinn on their team. It's pretty much guaranteed that Quinn is not going to hit the game winning homer or pitch the no-hitter. Stranger things have and do happen but it's a long shot.
I am proud and happy to say that no one on this team -- kids, coaches or parents -- have ever treated Quinn with anything less than support and enthusiasm. I think that speaks volumes about the quality of people in our community.
So... picture this. Two on base. The smallest child on the team slinks up to bat with a dejected air. Quinn is not happy with the fact that his every time at bat has ended with striking out. Shoulders are slunk. The batting helmet barely fits. I'm not entirely sure Quinn could even see.
The first pitch is thrown. The catcher catches the ball. And THEN Quinn swings. Strike One.
The second pitch is thrown. The catcher catches the ball. And THEN Quinn swings. Strike Two.
The coach, David Barton (who, I must say, is the best darn coach Quinn has EVER had) calmly and kindly tells Quinn that he should wait for the right pitch.
The next pitch is thrown. It's a little low. Quinn doesn't swing.
The next pitch is thrown. It's a little high. Quinn doesn't swing.
The next pitch is thrown. It's perfect. And Quinn doesn't swing. (For those of you counting... there are four strikes in this league).
The final pitch is thrown. It's not great but Quinn swings. And connects. And that ball drops straight down and rolls about two feet from home plate. This was NOT a line drive straight out to right field. Quinn's bat must have connected with no more than a single thread on that ball.
Quinn stares down at the ball for a split second in what I believe was shock -- unsure of what to do. But Coach Dave knows what to do. He looks at Quinn and screams "RUN!"
The crowd of parents behind home plate are on their feet. You would have thought my child, my darling little boy, that sweet little dork, had just hit the game winning homer in the World Series. They are yelling and screaming "GO Quinn!" For that, and that alone, I love each and every one of those parents.
Quinn drops the bat and he runs. Not with the grace of a gazelle but with all the awkwardness that my kid possesses. He's running. And the opposing team's player has rushed up to grab the ball sitting not two feet from home base ready to throw to first and tag Quinn out.
And he drops the ball.
The crowd goes wild. The parents of the opposing team are even cheering for Quinn. His teammates are whooping and hollering. Quinn reaches first base, spins towards his peeps, his friends, his TEAM and with a grin a mile wide throws his hands in the air, jumps up and down and does a celebratory dance that only Quinn could do.
His team is celebrating. His 1st base coach claps him on the back. His TEAM is proud of him.
With tears leaking out of my eyes I say, "Look at my little dork!" No parent anywhere at any time has ever been prouder of their child than I was of my little guy.
So while lots of kids did great yesterday at ball (one player even hit a very impressive home run!) I don't remember the score, I don't even know who won. All I know is that my child was proud of himself, his team was proud of him and it was good.