Play Ball! Yes, this years birthday "theme", which is another blog all in itself, was all about baseball. Jimmy invited 16 of his closest friends and relatives to join him at the diamond for a game of sand lot baseball. Mom and Dad, seeing the potential in the event, immediately hired an outside third party to be the umpire, as these things have a tendency to create disagreements, and contacted the city to secure Lions Park Field #1 for the big game.
Now for Jimmy this game was slightly bigger in his mind than the World Series and preparation began in earnest. Jimmy of course wanted to be the pitcher and throw 125 mile and hour fast balls, so every night we had to practice. He was so excited he could hardly focus on anything else, which is good his birthday is in the Summer. The day finally came and he was ready. The kids met at the ballpark, the umpire helped them choose sides and laid out the rules and with enough fanfare announced " Let's Play Ball", and play ball they did. It was a proud moment as a parent to watch the kids interact, and Jimmy made sure everyone got to play where they wanted, even if it meant that someone else would pitch. He made the kids who did not play baseball or were not at the level of the others feel wanted and part of the teams. The pitches to these kids were under hand or slower and it was a super fun time. There were several great plays and of course at one point the money spent on the umpire came through. It was a close play at second Preston was trying to turn a single into a double, Jimmy was catching and threw the ball to Parker at second base, the throw was a little off the mark. Parker leaped up to catch the ball, Preston was running to fast and slid off the base and Parker landed on Preston holding the ball, " You're out" was the call. The kids stormed the umpire, who was a couple of inches shorter than they were, and a discussion began, ceremoniously someone kicked sand, the umpire held his own, more pointing and explaining from the players until finally the umpire had enough and stated vary calmly " Do you know why I know he was out a second?" The kids replied " No", " Because I am the ump" was the reply, heads down the filed back to the dug out, " Batter Up!".
The pizza was delivered and the cupcakes eaten and it was back to the game. The kids played for almost two hours and the game ended on account of darkness. Then when Jimmy was not looking the kids grabbed the water jugs and dumped them over Jimmy's head, he was in heaven.
He was blessed with many great gifts, gift cards and cash, and was very thankful and even humble. We opened the gifts at home with Aunt Sue and had a perfect end to the perfect day, that however was not the end of Jimmy's celebration OH no..... Next up: Ball Boy at the Saints Game.
Jimmy invited his friend Jacob to be ball boy with him so on an extremely hot and muggy night off to the Saints Game we all headed the next night. Jim Fellows, Jimmy's God Father, and his girl friend, Jen meet us at the game. Jimmy and Jacob went into the tunnel, meet the other lucky kids who were ball boys/girls and bat boys/ girl and waited in the tunnel until it was time to take the field. There names were announced out onto the field they ran big smiles on their faces', priceless. They were lead to their posts, which for Jimmy and Jacob ,was a lawn chair, strategically placed in right field, where there was no chance of anyone actually hitting the ball. There they stayed through the entire game.
The Saint's were down 9 - 1 after two innings and it appeared we would be getting home earlier than we thought.... not even close. The boy's were cheering away from the lawn chairs, sweating up a storm, the Saints were battling away and after 8 innings the game was tied. Much to the happiness of the lawn chair cheering section, and as it was approaching 9:30, not so much to Mom and Dad. The hot dogs, gyro's and frozen strawberry lemonade helped in the battle against the heat and for the staying power of Thing 1 and Thing 2. Jim and Jen left after the 8th inning and Jimmy and Jacob poring water over their heads donned their rally caps and were back to cheering on the home town team. The crowd was thinning out after the 10th, the Saints got the opponents out 1,2,3 in the top of the 11th. The first batter hit a double followed buy the next batter hitting a walk off single, Saints win 10-9 in 11 hard fought innings. Jimmy and Jacob were ecstatic running all over the outfield screaming and dancing. Finally they calmed down, folded up their lawn chairs and we headed home, 10:30, so much for getting home early.! This was also Sue's birthday and we planned cake and ice cream however we had to postpone that for the next day, which began the third phase of Jimmy's birthday. Jimmy and Sue each got a ticket to the Twins game for the next night!.
The Twins have not been playing well but no matter to Jimmy, any chance to go to a professional game and he is in. We dropped them off at the game and took Thing 1 and 2 to see Cars 2, to give them some special time. Sue and Jimmy had a blast at the game however being 10, and running at full speed for three days has it's toll. The twins were down 5 to 1 after 7 innings and Jimmy was spent. He called for a pick up and we all got to have cake and special fruit kabob's Kay made for Sue's birthday.
We love you both and wish everyone a great and Happy Birthday!