Helping out at some of Matthew’s practices, I noticed that Matthew is struggling at the plate. He is usually a slow starter, but he is hitting the whiffleballs with authority. He has his great head coach Tim again, but Tim doesn’t think he’s a good pitcher, so he delegates the task. The guy he has pitching usually throws it high, though it may drop at the end. Could be a long season, and not just for Matthew.
During last year’s championship season Tim’s assistant coach Tracy pitched. Tracy often spoke of knowing where to pitch each boy, and that Matthew could hit pitches in any location. The team flopped badly in one game he missed. Tracy has coached his sons at Mt. Paran for years, and might’ve been an athlete in his younger years…he’s about forty. His youngest son Stephen, Matthew’s age, may be the athlete of the bunch, a scrappy little infielder who can get the bat on the ball.
Will had played just one season with Tracy’s older boys, Alex and Jake. Both are participating in HS sports…at least one is a wrestler. Neither stood out the year they played with Will, but this year Jake is on Will’s rec team and from the minute he walked on the field, he has been impressive. Many struggled Saturday when they faced each other, but Jake hit well. He’d like to play second, but I’ll also need him at third. I have him penciled in batting 5th in the order. I’ll juggle the order so no one is always at the bottom.
Tracy is active with his kids…I know they’re big into soap box derby. They missed the bowling fundraiser because of Wednesday night commitments at their church. He’s coaching Stephen’s team this spring but has helped out at several of our practices, and will be a base coach for us when he’s there. I called him one of the best coaches in the program. We’re not that close, but last year when I’d email the team stats and other comments to Tim, I began copying him. He’s been included this spring on my informational emails to team parents, but nothing beyond that. I don’t know where they live…it could be not far from us, perhaps across 120 from The Avenue.
Yesterday morning I came in to work early and found an email from an address I didn’t recognize, with the subject line “our house burned to the ground last night.” Tracy must’ve been in shock. He had sent the email to about six guys…I was the only one from baseball. The fire started at 1 am and they lost everything but the clothes on their backs…but they were all safe, as was their dog. His in-laws live near Indian Hills, they’re staying there…that’s where he had sent the email from. Their church, our Little League, and the kids’ schools are all helping out