I mentioned yesterday that my little boy and his little league teammates were going to be guests of the Naturals for Sunday’s game. When they arrived, they were treated to a tour of the press box, a luxury suite and the PA announcer room. I’m not sure how impressed the kids were with this stuff, but I thought it was pretty cool.
Views from the suites
Inside the suite
Lining up pre-game
Next the kids (and accompanying adults, yours truly included) got to go down below to the indoor batting cages and walked the tunnel leading out to the field. They didn’t get to go in the dugout or locker room, but who’s complaining?
Once out on the field they assigned the kids a position so when the Naturals took the field before the National Anthem, the kids would run out there with the players to their spots on the field. I had my fingers crossed that my boy would either get centerfield and run out with Wil Myers, or shortstop and run out with Christian Colon, who he met the day before.
Colon warming up pre-game
An aside- Wil Myers is a big dude. He’s thin, but not frail looking at all. I’m glad we’ve got to watch him play a few times, because I think his AA time will soon be ending.
Turns out my boy was given shortstop! Actually, he was given second base, but I may or may not have convinced the kid that got shortstop to switch with my boy when no one could hear me…
Oh, what? Like any of you Dad’s wouldn’t have done the same thing! It was totally harmless, and trust me, the kid that switched had absolutely zero interest in anything that was going on. Don’t look at me like that!
So, the players started getting announced and running to the field, and when Colon was announced and took the field, my boy took off and followed after him to the infield. I had my video camera and was soaking up every minute of it. The best part was when Colon saw my boy. He did a double take and squatted down to my son’s eye level and said “Hey, I remember you.” I couldn’t hear this of course from where I was in foul territory, but could tell by Colon’s body language and the huge smile on my son’s face that Colon recognized him. My son later confirmed the conversation to me. Then Colon shook my son’s hand and had him stand right next to him during the National Anthem.
Once the anthem was over, kids zipped off the field. It was insanely cute. Take a look at the expression on Wil Myers’s face on the below pic. Even he got a kick out of it.
So that was our weekend. I'm not going to get sentimental and make sweeping statements about sports and their impact on our lives. It's just really nice when nice moments like this happen even on a minor league level. And the athletes that take a few minutes and do simple things to make kids happy deserve appreciation and credit.