Anyway, this was Alex's first time in Pony (Lake Sammammish) League and he had an amazing time. The main differences in Pony as compared to Little League is the field is bigger, and they are allowed to lead off, pick-off, and slide head first. Alex was one of the smallest players on the team. I think this age (13-14) is when young men have their growth spurts and some of his teammates had obviously already had theirs.
Alex played Second Base the whole season with a few Left and Right Field thrown in. He assisted in a couple of double plays and that's when I saw him smile the most. He also loved being able to pick off players who were diving back to second. He really loves playing baseball and just loves it more now that he's starting to have to use strategy and has to utilize his brain more. I've never noticed before but they have to pay attention all the time. It's a very intense game when you really watch all that's going on out there. I could never do it...too much stress.
Alex also got to be appreciated for his hitting ability. He started the season off near the bottom of the batting order. The final game he was hitting second. He still can't hit the ball too far, he doesn't have the weight behind him, but he was probably the most consistent hitter, only striking out a hand-full of times. He got many singles and a few doubles and one or two triples. His coaches teased him calling him "Mr. 500" a couple of times. He proved he could hit like the 14-year-olds and was a great team asset. He also was pretty good at leading off and diving back (which would always make me cringe--and make him smile).
I wanted to post some things we heard coming from the dugout. Mostly, because they made us laugh. But, also because it proves that although these boys show so much maturity on the field it's apparent they are really still just boys who like to have fun:).
One of the boys broke his ankle early in the season (not playing baseball) and wasn't able to come to practice much. When he returned to sit through some of the games Martin heard one of the boys say to him, "Dude, you're back! We thought you broke your scrotum!" I might be wrong, but I'm pretty sure you cannot break that body part....but I'm no urologist.
The boys sometimes had a hard time with the officiating (big surprise). Once, one of the guys was batting and was struck out. He did not agree with the call and charged back into the dugout stomping and saying, "I can't believe he called me out. I've KILLED people for less!" He was lucky he wasn't ejected.
There were many more funny things that were said. It was always funny. This age cracks me up sometimes. I really love it!
I am so thankful for what baseball teaches Alex. He has learned discipline, how to be a team player, how to listen to and respect authority figures, to have confidence in his abilities, and he has learned the importance of practicing. They're all things that will be of value to him in his future. Most of all, I'm glad he has something he loves to do that's just fun! We should all be so lucky!