I have mentioned how Isaac's Little League team is the Charlie Brown team. We have 3 games left before the end of the season and it has been a loooooong season. Until this week we were winless. We've suffered losses with scores of 22-6 and 24-8. It's been dismal. This past week things began to change. We played a game on Saturday which caused the opposing team to exhaust 3 pitchers on us and the only way they won was by bringing in their 6 ft 12 year old (Do his parents put Miracle Gro on his corn flakes or what???) in the last inning. In the middle of the week we finally put everything together and earned a sound win (15-7) against one of the teams that had humiliated us with one of those scores up above. Our guys really played like a team and everyone did his part. You could tell they learned a lot over the course of the season. Going into the last inning you'd have thought it was the 7th game of the World Series. The kids were hopping, the head coach was wringing his hat, and the parents in the stands were on the edges of their seats. The wild applause when the last out was made was fairly thunderous.
If we don't win another game we at least weren't shut out for the season. Isaac tells me the kids on his team take a lot of trash talk in school about how bad they are. Truthfully, I even heard it on the field during the game when the opposing coach berated his boys for not being able to 'take this team of losers.' Every game I have listened to one of the fathers on our team criticize the way our coaches are doing their job.
This week I want to count, not so much the win as our coaches. They are 3 guys (Mr. Lime among them) who are positive with the kids. They motivate by encouraging what the kids do right and by instructing the kids how to improve in the skills they lack. They have stated they want the boys to have a fun season and gain skills. They have no interest in being cutthroat to gain a win although they will certainly strategize how to best use their players. They do play every kid in every game. They told the boys at the beginning of the season that good games when everyone plays to the best of their ability will earn them baseball cards at the end of the game. Even though we've only had that single win there have been several baseball card nights. When Isaac hit a home run out of the park, the coach brought him a case for the ball at the next game. As an aside, I learned from the father of the kid who pitched the ball for the home run that his boy was crushed to give up that run. The father asked if the hitter was the type of kid who was going to 'bust his chops' about it. The boy said Isaac was a friend who wouldn't do that and I was very pleased to learn that the next day in school Isaac told the boy he had pitched a good game and he couldn't have hit a home run if it wasn't a good pitch.
This week I'm counting the coaches and boys who promote and display excellence regardless of the outcome. I'm counting the class acts with the right stuff.