By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal
Baseball season is coming to a close. Our team of 7- and 8-year-olds is competing in the Director’s Cup tournament, which should be finished by this time next week.
Our boys in blue play for the Barber Financial team. I tried to get the other parents in the bleachers to call them the Barber Financial Fighting Derivatives, but the name failed to catch on for some reason.
This is Evan’s first year to play baseball.
Baseball quickly became The Big Thing. His Christmas presents included a bat, a glove, a ball and an elastic mesh backstop.
One of my favorite moments happened before the season started. I wasn’t even there, but my wife is an excellent storyteller. Michaela, Olivia and Evan were flipping through the channels, as Morris family members sometimes do, and landed on a baseball game. I was told but don’t recall the teams.
Evan said something like, “Hey, let’s watch that!” (I added the exclamation point because I know the boy; he’s enthusiastic.) Olivia rolled her eyes and argued for something on the Disney Channel.
But Michaela respected the young man’s developing interest and lingered on the game. Remember, this was before Evan ever played a game, or stepped onto a practice field.
The situation annoyed Olivia, and it’s hard to blame her. I must admit my own lack of tolerance for baseball on TV. There’s a lot of spitting and crotch-adjusting happening on screen in between brief spurts of action.
Anyway, Olivia wasn’t happy, so she started making fun of baseball. I know what you’re thinking, and don’t worry. I explained that if she makes fun of America’s pastime on July 4, the Patriotism Police will throw her into the stockade then force her to eat apple pie and sing songs about her mother.
Michaela didn’t report exactly what Olivia said that got her brother upset, so we’ll have to hope it had more to do with spitting than crotch-adjusting. Whatever she said, the boy was brought to tears during his spirited defense.
It went something like this: “The one constant through all the years, Olivia, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: It’s a part of our past, Olivia. It reminds us of all that once was good and it could be again.”
You must admit Evan is an elegant young fellow, even if he stole his material from James Earl Jones in “Field of Dreams.”
Time is getting short for the Barber Financial boys in blue. Evan’s sure to mourn the end of the season, but he’ll know in his heart that baseball never really goes away.
M. Scott Morris is a Daily Journal feature writer. Contact him at (662) 678-1589 or firstname.lastname@example.org.