Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Batter Up

It has been quite the baseball season with lightening storms, flooding, heavy rains and even a tornado causing delays in the progress of the young players.

The season has had a few ups and downs as Jimmy and The Marlin's work their way toward the Gold League Championship in late June. This year it is no longer pitch by coach with its unlimited plate time and a series of pitches whist the young batter dreams of the fence without the worry of striking out, or walking for that matter. NO... this is Gold league where the young pitcher has a strike count and the threat of a walk, baseball!!!

Jimmy has been playing several positions and really likes third base and left field. He has a couple of developmental needs associated with each position. In his capacity to play third base he gets over excited when a ball is hit in the infield and regardless of a runner at second or not takes it upon himself to charge the ball, now this can be deemed as a positive strength, however when the ball is not in the vicinity of second base, it is an issue when third base is left unattended. Then when young James fields the ball he stops looks, has the runner by 20 plus feet, takes aim and throws a wicked throw right over the first baseman's head.

He has a keen sense of vision and with his glasses a vision some what akin to "eagle eye's" so while playing left field and a pop fly was hit in his direction he was tracking the ball when suddenly the ball bounced off his head and into the outfield. He did get the ball into the cut off man and kept the runner at first. I inquired into the error to which he responded " Dad it's Alex's fault" ( Alex is the coach) I replied " Why is it Alex's fault?" " Because he won't let me wear my hat backwards and the ball hit the bill of my hat" " Why did you not get your glove up instead of your hat?" " I couldn't get my glove up because my hat was in the way"!

Several parents have pointed out how great it is having Jimmy on the team because he is a great team player, cheers on his teammates and is seemingly unaware what a batting average is or means. Now most kids get up to bat walk into the batters box and have what can only be compared to as writers block. They stand the mesmerized by the size of the 10 year old pitcher, how fast he can pitch, and nervelessly try to wait him or her out. Meaning the kids can't pitch 3 strikes within the 7 pitch count and mostly they walk the batters, not Jim. One Parent made the comment" it is obvious that Jimmy did not come here to paint!" Jimmy is in the batting box to hit and so far he has 3 singles, two doubles and a triple, along with 2 walks and about 20 strike outs. God help us he has turned to watching old Kirby Puckett, may he rest in peace, films and is now practicing lifting his front foot up to help him drive the ball over the fence, as with all 9 year olds, he is looking for that elusive first home run.

The little league season will end with a play off and the Gold League Championship Series, Jimmy is cheering his team into the winners circle. Mostly he is having fun and saving being upset about the teams losses (they are 4 and 7) for football, great.

Touch 'em all Jimmy Murphy!