Well, I've waited a couple of days to post, but my son's "real" baseball career ended on Sunday with a loss in the D2 regionals. That day and since have been way worse than senior day a few weeks ago. I've been on this site since July of 2007, so nearly 9 years. A lot has happened over that time. I have seen my son grow from an 8th grader to a senior in college. I've seen him grow from a kid to a man. Although in many ways, he's still a big kid . My emotions have been a little crazy. I keep thinking back over all the years that he's played baseball. From when he was 7 playing "machine" pitch to 8 when he started pitching himself, to Cooperstown at 12, to playing varsity in HS as a freshman and all the way through his college years. For almost 17 years now, our life and his life have been about baseball, now it's not. And it has gone by SO quickly. I went to my 8 year old nephew's baseball game the other night and had tears streaming down my face for half the game thinking about my son when he was younger. It was such a wonderful ride. I honestly don't think I'd change anything.
As with many people, his career did not end the way we all had envisioned. Over his college career, his velocity dropped and he just didn't get to play as much as he would have liked to. We have speculated many reasons why and he worked hard to try to get it back, but it didn't come back in time to make a significant impact his last couple years of college. He was fortunate enough to play on a very good team that won 142 games over his 4 years and made it to the regionals twice. In his senior year, they won their conference regular season and the conference tournament. The guys on the team are brothers. Very close knit group of guys and it made the ride much easier to hang in there. My son is a baseball guy through and through. I think he is going through some of the same emotions I am. Very nostalgic and wondering what life will be like after baseball. At some point, he wants to get involved in a men's league. In college he became a pitcher only after playing MIF as well as pitching up to that point. He REALLY misses playing in the field and hitting and is looking forward to get to do some of that again.
It's sad, but I am very proud of what he has done and who he has become. We are friends, he's probably my best friend... I like who he is, I enjoy his company. Although we have gone through this whole process together, it has not divided us, but created a bond that I cherish. As I said earlier, although I wish his baseball had been a little better at the end, I really don't think I'd change a thing. I really wish we could go back and do it all over.
It is an emotional time right now, but one that will lead to bigger and better things I think. He has some school left and he'll be finishing that up, then it's onto real life. Neither of us is sure what he will wind up doing, but he'll figure it out.
I know I've rambled here a little, but the end of a big part of our lives is over and I just thought I'd share it. I know it's been said MANY times here on HSBBW, but enjoy the ride while you can. Cherish every moment, because it will come to an end. And when it does, it will feel like it was just yesterday that it all started and you will wish it could go on forever.