Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Cardinals Never Gave Up

If you have read my blog at all, you know that I coach a 7-8 year old baseball team. Well, this has been just an incredible season, to say the least.

It has been an awful lot of work - three or four nights per week of "spare time." Pouring my heart and soul into these kids. Trying not only to help them in baseball, but also to help build character. The kids have been amazing, and the parents have been the most supportive group of any I have dealt with in four seasons.

Last night we played for our lives. We were in the loser's bracket, and had to win the game to stay in the tournament. To make a long story short, we were down 13-6 in the bottom of the 5th inning. We had to score 2 runs just to stay in it. We scored 3.

We go to the top of the 6th - final inning - down 13-9. If they score 2 runs, the game - and our season - are over. We somehow managed to hold them without scoring, and came back up to bat.

First kid gets on base. Next kid hits a single, and the throw from the outfield ends up going into right field. Both runners come around to score.

It's 13-11. No outs.

Next kid grounds out to the pitcher. 1 out. Next kid hits a single. Now we're to the top of our order. He hits a single. Runners on 1st and 3rd. Net kid hits a grounder, they get a force out at 2B.

It's 13-12. Two outs. Runner on first.

Next batter is my son, Chaz. He hits a single to LF, throw goes to 3B - runner is safe, and Chaz advances to 2B.

13-12. 2 outs. Runners on 2nd and 3rd.

Next kid fouls off four pitches in a row. On the 5th pitch, he hits a pop-up between pitcher and 1B. He beats the throw. Safe at first.

13-13. Runners on 1st and 3rd - 2 outs.

On the very first pitch, Zach - our 5th hitter - hits a hard grounder to deep shortstop, beats the throw to first, and we WIN the game: 14-13.

The place went nuts. It was electric, and the kids went crazy!

I was so very proud of each and every one of them. We were down, but were never out.

It was a great life lesson for me to see what can happen when we choose to believe in the midst of adversity in a situation that looks bleak.

I love these kids, and no matter what happens from here, they are champions in my book!!

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