Making the most of the all-star experience

Here we sit, on the verge of another all-star baseball and softball experience.
Young baseball and softball players are a season the wiser, and those chosen to represent their communities will spend a good part of the summer on the diamond.

They have a unique opportunity to wear their communities’ names on their jerseys in a non-school setting.

They get to compete with and against some of the best players the area has to offer, and I am sure they are more than ready to make the most of it.

They are ready to have fun playing the game they love, and fun is what the game is all about.

It is not about getting a scholarship, especially when the players are young enough to care more about killing ants in the outfield.

It is about hearing the crack of the bat and racing around the bases for the winning run so we can all enjoy the post-game ice cream.

On that note, while we are sitting in the stands watching all-star games and having a good ole time melting like the Wicked Witch of the West, here are a few suggestions for you and I to follow in order to make the all-star experience more fun for everyone.

  • This season, this opportunity to have fun, is why kids spend backyard games trying to perfect their Ken Griffey Jr. swings. When that sweet swing misses the high, stinky cheese for strike three by so much everybody can feel the breeze in the stands, let’s all try not to yell like the kid stole a candy bar from the five and dime.
  • When the umpire rings someone up on a pitch so far outside the batter would have to be swinging your grandmama’s curtain rod to hit it, lets all resist the urge to remind the ump his or her next trip to the local optometrist is well overdue.
  • When somebody gets hosed on a Puig-like throw to the plate, let’s all try not to talk like we want to wallop the coach for waving the windmill unless we’ve got a mind to give up our seat in the bleachers and stand in the third-base box.
  • When little Nolan Ryan is walking batters and throwing like he or she couldn’t hit the strike zone if it were as big as the Green Monster, let’s all try to remember he or she is not Nolan Ryan.
  • When a kid is tracking a can of corn for the third out and it falls at his or her feet, let’s all try to remember he or she is a kid who’s biggest problem should be multiplication tables.
  • When a kid gets thrown out at first base from the outfield, may we all remember we probably don’t run a 4.3 40-yard dash either.
  • When the public-address announcer butcher’s somebody’s name beyond recognition, may we all remember they’re no Vin Scully and neither are we.
  • When the coach pulls a kid off of the pitcher’s mound on a Saturday, let’s all try not to say anything we wouldn’t want the preacher to hear on Sunday.

I guess I said all of those things to say this. I hope we don’t get so wrapped up in wishing for a perfect game we forget to take in the one on the field.

This season’s all stars will play the game for only so long.

Their time in the uniform will fly by faster than the post-game ice cream becomes a puddle.

Remember to enjoy it before it melts into memories.

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