Tuesday, August 14, 2012


A couple of years ago, I bought Peanut a tee ball set. It wasn't something she asked for. I just thought it would be fun to smack the ball around the backyard, and to ingrain in her a love, or at least an appreciation, for the national pastime. (And the Yankees.) I had no intention of training her to be a baseball or softball prodigy, and then living vicariously through her. Besides, Peanut's game attire erased any delusions I may have had of her earning a sports scholarship:

3 year-old Peanut, batting in her tutu

Fast forward to this spring, when Peanut asked me to remove the tee. I hesitated, selfishly thinking how frustrating it might be for me, with her repeated swings and misses. But if she wants me to pitch her my vintage holly floater; if she wants to try and hit it over the fence, who am I to get in her way? So I gave her my best instructions: Feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees. Smack the plate with your bat. Wiggle your butt.

And would you believe Peanut put on a hitting display reminiscent of Don Mattingly? (I know, Donnie Baseball was left-handed and Peanut is right-handed. I use him as a reference because he's my all-time favorite player. So much so that Peanut was very nearly named "Mattingly.")

With almost every pitch came another THWUMP of fat plastic bat on whiffle ball. She was hitting so well I was getting whiplash.

She's a natural
Look at that form
She even hit my spinning winnaker
Eventually, I was forced to call in My Director from the bullpen:

She's no match for Peanut
This one hit the warning track
We even practiced hitting
to the opposite field.
This gave us the idea to sign Peanut up for a league. But we were too late. Next year. So then we thought of the next best thing: we'd take her to a game. So we got tickets to see the minor league team that plays in our town. Hey, if she likes playing the sport, she'll probably enjoy watching it in person, right? Wrong.

Who looks like she's one mint julep shy of the Kentucky Derby?
Ice cream made her happy...for half an inning
After she had eaten a hot dog, ice cream, and Cracker Jacks, she had declared herself sufficiently bored.
"Well, what do you want to do?"
"Play a game."
"We're AT a game. Look. Right there. They're PLAYING A GAME right in front of us."
The beauty of minor league baseball:
seats right behind home plate
 Did I mention this outing was for Father's Day? Didn't matter.
"Daddy, I shouldn't have to be this bored on Father's Day."
"But we're here for FATHER'S Day. That's me. It's MY day."
The team was having a promotion, letting kids run around the bases after the game. Despite Peanut's declaration of boredom, I thought if I could get to that point I could win back her love of the game. No such luck. The home team blew a lead in the top of the eighth inning, allowing the visitors to tie the game.
"That's it. Let's go."
"Are you sure," My Director offered, feeling bad for my now-dashed dreams.
"Yes. The last thing I want to do on Father's Day is torture my daughter."
As we walked back to the swagger wagon, I looked at Peanut in her sun dress, flower sandals, and large-brimmed sun hat, complaining about the heat. This is not a ballplayer. This is a princess. I knew it all along. Now I had an airtight case.

"Gov'na, I do declare. It's hot as Hades out here.
And I'm bored to tears"
The perpetual optimist in me found a silver lining: At least I know I don't have to waste hundreds of dollars taking her to a Yankees game anytime soon.

Peanut HAS been to a Yankees game. Once, when she was a baby. It was a major milestone for both of us, as I wrote about here.


  1. Replies
    1. It's not true. I just play one on my blog. (But humbly, I thank you.)

  2. Even if she did not enjoy it... there is always joy in a dad sharing something he loves with his child.

    1. Yes. I am sure I will force her to watch me enjoy a baseball game for as many times as possible for as long as I live.

  3. You're a great dad. My son is 6. Taking him to his first Yankee Red sox game Sunday. I'm so worried he will get bored because I'm super excited and wont want to leave.

  4. THat's awesome, man.. Got to be great to see your baby improve in baseball like that. That's my favorite sport.. I already have my daughter saying "I love the Mets." NOw if only the Mets could have a good team next year...


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