So, I read old threads on here for fun, mainly because you never know what you will turn up; there's some great stuff where you least expect it.  These are from a messy thread from 2006, mostly a battle between posters, but in the middle of it I found the following three posts that I thought were really beautiful (and then the thread went back to being messy again):

BobbleheadDoll posted:
I just got back from watching a few innings of what you call rec ball. Juniors with no prospects of going anywhere in the sport. Some of them I have know for years. Some were great at early stages, some still hit huge bombs. I actually enjoy it not for the caliber of ball but these guys play because they love the game. They laugh and have fun. No discipline or pretense just fun. People always ask me why I would watch what is really painful baseball and I like watching them have fun and seeing my son's old friends. I love being at the ball park with the lights and talking to the parents.
I can't explain why my son got so involved in baseball. Would I have seen him going far from home to play NCAA baseball and wanting to face the best teams in North America ? Not at all. I used to underrate him and now I am wondering how far he can go.
I think most parents get discouraged at times and your son will tell you when if ever he wants to hang up his cleats. I think it is very easy to label parents as overrating their kids when in fact they are being supportive. I truely loved watching my son develope over the years. Some of the best memories I could imagine. I don't blame any parent for being supportive and perhaps blinded by the glow. My rating is not the one that counts.
I can see where coaches get a sick feeling dealing with parents. I see over zealous parents at ball games who think their son is much better than he is in my opinion and I do understand how coaches feel.
itsinthegame posted:
Bobble,

It took me a long time to figure it out - but it finally clicked.

After all the BS - I just enjoy watching my kids have a good time - enjoying new experiences the game affords them - and trying their best.

When they do well - I feel good - and when they dont do well - I feel bad - and wish them luck for the next day.

At this point - I couldnt give a rats *** what anybody rates my kids - or what anybody says about their abilities or their play. Most havent a clue what the hell they are talking about anyway - or even worse - have other motives.

It is so simple - and I was staring at it for a long time and never seeing it.

Now - I see it - and I enjoy watching and/or listening to both boys more than ever. Good or bad. It is fun.

Big Grin
infielddad posted:
To follow up on some great insights from Its:
When our son got to college, we began watching a lot of college baseball. Some things I realized:
1. To play college baseball,and beyond, you need to be very good;
2. I was never good enough to play at that level or, more importantly, to recognize the mental and physical skills/discipline required to play at that level;
3. Good players at that level make the game look relatively easy, when it is anything but easy;
4. In little league, high school, and summer leagues, many of us, especially me, measure success by hits, homeruns and BA for hitters/strikeouts, ERA and wins for pitchers.
5. We carry the little league philosophy too long and similarly carry completely unrealistic expectations;
6. When I finally realized how hard it is to play the game of baseball, at levels I never had the ability, I recognized the joy is in the difficulty of the game and the skills/ability/persistence/effort/courage/mental effort your son puts in, day in and day out.
From that day forward, whenever it finally sunk in, I have loved watching the game of baseball. I am a much better parent of a player because, finally, I cherish watching him knowing hits and BA are very important to him, and ultimately, they need to be. For me, they are irrelevent. I watch in awe that he has earned the opportunity play a game that requires mental and physical skills so very few possess...... especially me. Eek
7. I wish I knew this when he was in little league. I would have been a much better baseball parent and had a lot less anxiety when I watched him or "tried" to be his coach.

 

Original Post

Interesting takes.

The other day I was looking through Google photos, where I was sure I had a clip of my 2017 hitting his last HR of his college freshman year.  At first, I couldn't find it. I found clips of other at-bats from the same day that ended in a pop up, a ground out, etc.  I'd watch those and think, why do I still keep that?  My cursor went to the delete button.  But my other, more mature self would not click.  Dinger, pop up, or ground out, there are only so many at-bats for us to watch and remember.

JCG, don't you dare delete! Buy more memory before you ever do that!  I really believe the baseball gods created the Cloud so parents could keep it all for eternity I catch my son watching his ABs from years back so he can see how far he has come.  Serves many purposes!

My Midlle son Played on such a team as described above. Only one of those players went on to play in college, and only for a year.

It was fun watching him play in this rec league. They one the whole thing and enjoyed every minute of it. They enjoyed every minute of it. They played positions they did not play for their HS team, that they always wanted to try. He had played travel with them growing up. It was kind of a last hurrah. They also played in a number of low level travel tournaments. 

Most of the parents all knew each other and none of us took it very seriously. I can tell you as much as I enjoyed my older sons journey into college and through baseball through that, there was always some stress involved. Teh last season with my younger son was completely stress free and the most enjoyable seasons, i ever had the pleasure of watching. 

I am an x high school basketball coach and by far the most fun I've had coaching was my sons 2-14 11U/12U rec league team and its not even close............. had three kids on the team that were 13 yo but had never played baseball before. One had played hockey and held his bat like a hockey stick, 18' between his hands. Another kid had one eye, but he could fly on the base paths. The last one could rake to the bottom of the fence dead center and get thrown out a first. We had a blast, all good kids and parents...... We were terrible...... three kids from this team will play baseball in college. I'm smiling to myself typing this. 

I coached rec baseball, softball and boy’s and girls basketball before coaching travel in each. On the boys side there was a kid I took as my last pick in each sport. The kid was bright, funny and tried hard. He didn’t have much athletic talent. He got his playing time then kept the bench loose. Every year when he got his first hit or basket (at least mid season) he would stop, raise his fist and declare to everyone, “The legend continues!”

Every level was fun. Once in a while with teen travel ball I had to get stern for a moment and explain they have to come to compete every game. Even good teams can take a pounding if they don’t come to play. 

When I had to give these talks I tried to remember there were days in college summer ball I woke up thinking, “I’d rather go to the beach today than play two against a last place team.”

Gotta admit I really do miss those early years. I coached my son from age 6 thru 12 or so. While you are in the midst of it, we all most likely took it WAY to seriously at times (maybe I’m alone on that one). But as my son has moved in to pro ball, I catch myself reflecting often about that 10-13 age when the kids were having a blast hanging with their buddies even while trying to play good and win games. Don’t get me wrong, I love our relationship now as he moves into adulthood, but parts of it are just never gonna be the same. I vividly remember him talking about how cool it was to “travel” and get to stay in a hotel, just us 2 guys, while mom and the girls were somewhere at a cheerleading competition. Haha. Great memories!!

I have been posting for a while now and lots of you know some things about me. I played one year of JuCo ball (as a 2 way player) and 3 years at top tier D1 program in Texas as a RHP. I was lucky enough to play on a Texas HS state Championship team and 2 SWC Championship teams. I had a few moments of glory but I was never a star. But I played with teammates that were and I saw firsthand what it takes to be one. Nowhere in that journey did I ever play for a good coach. When my playing days were over I had quite a disdain for the coaching profession and I had nothing to do with baseball for many years other than following the game. Then I got married and had 3 boys. As they grew up they all developed an interest in sports so I began coaching them in football, basketball, and baseball. My oldest son gravitated to swimming and was a really good  in HS. At that point I was out on his coaching. But I continued to coach my other 2 sons all the way up to their HS years. It started with rec ball and progressed into travel ball and all told it was something like 25 seasons. Along the way I became good at teaching kids how to pitch. As my kids got older I noticed that I enjoyed working with older kids more than younger ones. I saw that kids were getting bad instruction so I got involved with some local high school programs and began to help their pitchers. Along the way I partnered up with a like minded guy that has an identical background. Together we now coach/instruct/mentor a group of 20 or so pitchers. Some are HS, some are college, and one is pro. We help all of them get better any way we can, including finding places for them to play in college. It’s a side gig for both of us as we have real jobs that pay the bills. But working with kids is the most rewarding thing I have ever done. A year ago I had to do some home renovations that required me to clean out all the bedrooms. I used that as an opportunity to purge all the things that collected in those rooms. My youngest son had left the most stuff in my house by far. As I sorted thru it I remembered that someone had once put together a scrapbook for me and that it was meaningful. So I decided to do the same for Alec. I sorted everything by years (1-19) and  found a retired school teacher (Nancy) that made scrapbooks as a hobby. I gave her memorabilia from all the teams that we had ever been involved with and some family stuff too. It took a month for her to put it together and she did a wonderful job. Since Alec is still playing it was made in a way where things could be added to it. As the 2019 season went on some magical things began to happen and I kept collecting more things to give to Nancy. His JuCo team got hot and won a Regional and then did the unthinkable and won a JuCo National Championship. It was a storybook season and one of the best teams I have ever seen. Not the most talented necessarily but great team chemistry. That is why they won. It is all documented in print articles, photos, videos, etc. and all added to the book. Me and Nancy will continue to add to the book and someday when his playing career is over I will get great joy out of giving the book to Alec. It is a great remembrance of all things we did together as father and son and I love it that baseball is at the center of it. Not sure the point of this post other than the ones that proceed it made me nostalgic. 

Going back to what Adbono said about coaching ... I was never shown how to grip pitches properly (and I didn’t) until junior year of high school. That was when a former pitcher from our high school was released from the minors and became an assistant high school coach. My era didn’t have travel teams with former minor leaguers as instructors. No one showed me a thing about hitting until I got to college. I had taught my son more by the time he was eleven than I knew entering college. My son had better coaching in 13u than I had through high school and Legion. 

Baseball has always been a sport that I loved.    It only loved me back through my kids.    One of my kids loves the game, and the other two are interested but that interest is always on their terms.   It has always been this way since my kids were young.   My kids fully understand that baseball has given them a core principles framework for life in that you always try to do your best and life isn't fair.  

As a baseball parent, I was always there for them to help them practice, lend a shoulder or an ear.   My youngest was fortunate to get an excellent high school coach, and my oldest had the benefit or some excellent travel coaches that would help him in his college recruitment.   Baseball used to be the center of our family universe.   My wife has an incredible mind for the game as well.   My kids are 28, 24 and 22 now with their professional lives underway but those core principles they learned in high school baseball are still in play.   I see those core disciplines a lot in my youngest son who has to gone through boot camp, advanced training and has airborne school coming up.   He says (half-joking) these Army Drill Sargeants have nothing on his high school baseball coach.  In his mind, I know he can hear his high school coach's mantra...."figure it out".    Baseball is still discussed over the Holidays, family get togethers and the memories are still pretty vivid.    But there just isn't that day-to-day baseball excitement that there used to be, and I really miss it.  I've got other things going on in my life now, but it is just so different.   I'm travelling the world, enjoy my job, and playing a lot of tennis.   However, I really do miss that college and high school baseball season getting underway.   Nothing like it.   Enjoy it while you can.

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