March means baseball to me. I adore March. I grew up in a Sandlot sort of neighborhood, playing pick-up games with kids all over the block. We played with a tennis ball because somebody’s mom complained…I never played organized sports–just pick-up games we made up with my brother and friends.
T-ball came with my first child; a daughter. She was a natural. It helped to marry another baseball fan because playing catch was part of life. Balls were always present at our house. “For fun” playing pickle was what Daddy, daughter then son did while waiting for dinner. My daughter established an arm that could throw like no other. It made her daddy proud. She broke my finger playing catch with her, once in grade school. My son began hitting a ball with a bat or a sawed off golf club barely passed one years old. Baseball was in his blood, too. He started off as the pickle runner, then caught up to throwing. He too could throw and hit like no other.
Baseball games were so much fun.
More boys came to the family. March began more T-ball. New uniforms marked the beginning of my favorite month. I love the uniforms. T-ball needs cups? The boys were so fascinated with this unusual protection, that was more fun than playing the game. Knock-knock, isn’t this cool?
Family baseball games are like no other. The siblings not playing have even more fun than the players, wandering free, dusty barefoot and sticky sucking on suckers or dripping missile pops, or cheesy nachos from the snack bar. They wait for the pop fly that soars beyond the backstop and behind. Parent’s sit in bleachers cheering on their child who is sitting in the field tired of standing, or the one who keeps running even though he is safe on first, or the one with seven strikes…People become friends in those bleaches sharing band-aids, lap blankets, and stories. They sit there for hours.
When March comes around all those memories flood back and I wish I were standing on the man hole cover at the corner of Maneta and Bent getting ready to throw in that perfect pitch. Lynn’s on first, marked by the spray painted curb address, my brother, Randy on second, marked by somebodies sweatshirt, and Stevie on third, marked by somebodies bike. I hit my perfectly worn in mitt with the tennis ball, blowing a big Bazooka bubble, looking straight at Derick at home, then let it fly. If Derick makes contact he could knock it clear into the Adams yard designated as an automatic homer…
I love March…