I have watched several students play baseball and/or softball during the spring season. I keep a clipboard on my bulletin board with a sheet for them to tell me about their games including field, team, and time so that if I can make it, I will attend. The students know I will make every effort to attend at least one of their games if at all possible. I recently had the bright idea to play a softball game against some of these players and have them all in one spot on one team. They jumped at the chance to play against their teachers. I never played organized sports in college and have one year of basketball in high school to my athletic credit.
I began by talking informally to a couple of kids. They immediately wanted to know where and when. I asked staff members if they would be interested, and we had enough for a team. I printed invites for the kids and handed them out whenever I saw them in the hallway. Yesterday, we had our game after school on the football field with bases and boundaries set up by our generous athletic director. He brought softballs, too. I had to borrow a glove from Daddy; my husband and I played catch yesterday with an old baseball to help me warm up my hands. That was fun!
A couple of students dropped their gear in my room for safe keeping. I picked up a case of bottled water and some ice then iced the water bottles once I arrived at school. One colleague showed up in full softball regalia. I wore my son’s old NJHS shirt and a pair of jeans topped by a baseball cap. The teachers batted first. The student players filled the field of play. They had at least fourteen or so players out in the field. It was fun to see them organize their batting order and incorporate the young ladies who were great hitters. They took turns being catcher, first base, pitcher, etc. I wound up in right field knowing that there were only two lefties batting to my knowledge. One hit a ball that went over my head, and I managed to get my glove on a grounder in the game. During the course of the game, I noticed a number of moms lining the track watching the game. One mom even brought two more cases of bottled water for the kids. Hurray!
Despite tough play on our part and a couple of homeruns hit by some of the male staffers, we ran out of time in the game. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. I wasn’t an “easy out” in the game. I was walked twice and thrown out at first base after making a hit. I think they feared me enough not to pitch to me. Again, that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. I offered the students and staffers a bottle of water after the game if needed. The sun and humidity took their toll on all of us, and several moms snapped pictures of the entire group of staff and students alike. I thoroughly enjoyed the activity and want to do more like this in the future. Next year, the kids are going down!! That’s me on the very far right on the back row in the bright yellow shirt. Play ball!