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best thing you did or observed on the LL diamond


ArchAngel72

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My own lil Glory story,

 

12U I was a decent player I could hit and pitch well and was a good 3rd baseman

I typically hit line drives into the outfield and was good for singles and doubles and the occasional triple or better if the fielders botched the cutoffs

well I get up this one time it was against someone I knew in school and he was not a hard thrower and had issues with control.   I So desperately wanted to smack one out of the park on this kid.  He tossed one way outside ball one one just barely outside I swung hard 1-1 . next pitch was over my head but over the plate. I smacked the crap outta that thing I hear my coach as Im barreling towards 1st No Gabe don't swing at stuf... Oh well Never mind as it sailed 10 feet over the fence ..

I still got a lecture for it when I got into the dugout.

 

 

Something I saw last year 

I saw 2 kids hit 4 homeruns in a district all star game back to back then 2 innings later back to back again.  both kids were monsters started as P1 and P2 

I was joking with a guy who was obviously a father of one of them I think the catcher.  I mentioned so what shaving cream does the pitcher like?  He said Oh I dunno but you should have seen the car he drove here in its a real nice one.

mind you this is 12U  LOL

   

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My best LL story wasn't even on the diamond.

In addition to umpiring, I coached LL for 13 years, either regular season, fall ball, or both. Coached my kids from tee-ball to juniors.

Had a kid that I coached, Ethan, off and on from tee-ball up until his 11 year old season. He wasn't the most talented player, but was a good kid and played hard. He left baseball after his 11 year old season and focused on soccer, which he became one hell of a player. We kept in touch with him and his family, and still do to this day, he recently graduated from college.

When he turned 13, I received an invitation for me and my whole family to attend his bar mitzvah. I had never been to one, and if you've never been, it is an awesome time. I was very honored to be invited. During the reception of probably close to 300 people, there was a continuous slide show of Ethan's life, and there was even a couple of pictures of me and him on the ball-field, which by itself was really cool. But at wasn't the best and most humbling part.

As we were leaving near the end of the event, I thanked his mom for inviting us. She said she was very happy that we came, and then said these words that I'll never forget. She told me that I had a "significant impact on Ethan's life." What, me? I mean I just coached him in LL. I never treated him any different than any other player. I always had the mindset when coaching that I would give every kid a fair shake. You could play any position for me, you just had to work hard at it. That was pretty much my philosophy when coaching.

I was stunned at those words. Never did I think I'd have that much of an impact on a kid that wasn't my own. I have a lot of fond and memorable stories involving LL, but that one tops the list.

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Not green book legal, but whatever...

I was the daddy-umpire for my younger son's LL minors team, while my older son (4 years older) had a majors game on the adjacent field. Older kid's coach asks if my younger son could fill in since the majors team only had 8 players show.  And he knew my younger son because he'd included him in some practices. Sure, but I still had to ump the bases for the minors game...

Cut to a mid-inning break and I look over at the other field and catch my younger kid on third and my older son at bat!  Sure enough he knocks his brother home with a rocket to right center. Great moment for me.

I turn around, and hear the catcher say "balls in!" and we continue our game. Probably the only time those two boys will play on the same team.  Both are freshmen now - one college, one HS.

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Best thing I ever saw, was SWMBO and another coach save a woman's life.  It was a 2nd chance (district only) tournament for the players that did make the State or International teams.  A player hit a home run.  I was on the bases.  The ball was thrown back in and I put it in my pocket until the half inning was over.  I walked over to their side of the field, asking for who the mother was, and I handed her the ball.  She had no intention of even being at the game that night, as she hadn't been feeling well. A batter or two into the next half inning, I hear a woman screaming for help.  I'm in A and see another woman lying on the ground behind her teams dugout (1B side).  Call it command presence if you want, but the Marine came out in me when I called time.   Everyone heard it.  I yelled for SWMBO (who is a nurse) and pointed behind the dugout with emphasis, as if awarding a base.  I cleared the field and had the 3rd base dugout blocked by the coaches and a couple of board members that were at the game.  Fortunately, they were all block dugouts, so her team couldn't see.  SWMBO called for the AED and a bystander retrieved it (it was the last game of the season and the FIRST year we had AEDs at the fields).  Parents gathered around to help in blocking the scene from the players.  Fortunately, she was revived and we visited her in the hospital the next day.  It was the mom who I had given the homerun ball to.  She hadn't been feeling well due to an irregular heartbeat (arythmia I think?), but the AED kick started her and she has had a normal rhythm since.

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I was doing a 9u or 10u rec game a couple years ago to help out and one of the coaches asked if I could talk to one of the boys (not his son) and his mom at home plate after the game with them facing the backstop.   He wanted me to make something up "to give the boy some advice in front of his mom".   I the field behind them, he had the rest of the boys line up with individual signs "Will You Marry Me".

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(This isn't a LL story - sorry - but it's right at the end of the age range, and is something I won't forget.)

When I was still in Virginia, in November '17, I had a pair of 13U games between a team from Richmond and a local team.  I worked the plate in the second game, as I prefer.  Top-3, the leadoff hitter came to the plate.  He suddenly got kind of a thousand-yard stare, and started taking these little steps, like the beginning of tipping over.  I gave the coaches the get-the-hell-out-here wave, and then got him in my arms and helped him to the ground.  At that point, he started to have a seizure.  So .... game over, given the trauma.  I found out through the grapevine that the seizure was from a brain tumor - one on the surface of the brain only, and still pretty new, but "not optimal," as they say.

The following April, I was assigned another pair of 13U games.  Same venue, and it turned out to be the same two teams.  Less than six months after that game ...... that same kid was back - not only playing ball, but he was the *starting pitcher* for his team.  He'd had surgery at Johns Hopkins - *brain* surgery, which I cannot emphasize enough - and was recovered and on the ballfield.

I wrote about it on my Facebook feed, and said:  "I don't have a lot of Big Conclusions to draw from it, other than to marvel at the times we live in, and the things we can do to help people. Even though I don't know the exact impression it's made on me, I felt like it's something worth describing."

But to me, it was nothing short of remarkable.

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Best experience for me was this past June, visiting team destroying home team, 9-0. It's my 2nd plate of the day and getting late so I was tired and the zone was getting wide. Bottom of the 6th, and they pull a rally outta nowhere. And 15 minutes later, I'm walking off the field with a 10-9 victory. Little League can be amazing sometimes.

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Well damn.. Thank you guys for all these wonderful responses.

 

Makes my homeruns stories pale by FAR in comparison.  I hope all I ever have to do is call safes, outs, balls, fouls, and strikes the rest of my time ever and never have to deal with anything like what some of you guys have been thru.  But yeah a lot of you guys are Heroes. great job guys Bravo! 

:notworthy:

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I have two, one LL and one HS.

 

LL - our District has a Challenger Division, which for those who do not know, is geared towards special needs kids. Unlike your local league, where to play you have to live or go to school within specific boundaries, Challenger is obviously more open due to who they are geared to service. Anyhow, every year, the leagues in our district will host Challenger night where our kids will play the Challenger team, have a DJ, a huge BBQ, sometimes have the fire dept there with their trucks, etc... It is an event. We play a 3 inning game with the kids from 10U playing one inning, then 11U the next and finally our 12U last. It is a blast, they all bat through the order and Challenger always wins the game. We get food donated and every penny we make off the snack and BBQ goes to Challenger. One year we handed them almost $1,000 from one evening.  

Anyhow, one season, one of the Challenger kids uses a walker to get around. He wedges himself up in such a way that he can swing with 2 hands while in the walker. He hits the ball, and here is where the tears and cheers start... He drops to the ground and hand over hand crawls to first base. This is not a show, this is how he 'runs the bases'. The noise level of people cheering him on, the level of intensity in his face to play... I still choke up thinking about this kid. Most basic level of just wanting to be a normal kid playing ball I have ever witnessed.

 

Second place... Working a means nothing last game of the season JV game. At the plate meeting, the HC for the home team asks the V HC if it would be ok for their 1st batter, who is a senior and in the special needs program to end his playing career in an epic way, which the other coach agreed to.  This would be his only at bat as he had to be in a program by a specific time.

Several pitches into the at bat, this kid makes contact and somehow, though many overthrows and terrible plays scores on a 'solo home run'. The smile on this kids face, the smiles from ALL of the players on the field that day... I made sure to tell the VHC that he and his team had truly done that  player a solid and that they, as a group really reflected what the point of education based athletics was all about. I was proud to be a part of that game, even though it was just a throw away game which had zero meaning in the scheme of things... but I bet that kid, and maybe some of the players still remember it to this day. I know I do.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I am an old man now, but I had some of the best times of my life coaching kids’ baseball. We had 3 sons, all spread apart by about 7 years each… so about the time one would get up to the teenage years (When they tend to start knowing it all) I would drop back down with the next youngest and start all over again. I ended up coaching Dixie Baseball for about 16 years.

In Dixie, the top two teams in their respective divisions in each state play a best 2 out of 3 Series to determine the State Champion and a trip to the Dixie World Series. We were fortunate enough to play for 4 State Championships and won 2… earning us a trip to a WS in Aiken, South Carolina and another in Thomasville, Alabama. We made a lot friends and created some great memories. Many that I will never forget.

I always took my responsibilities and multiple roles as a youth coach very seriously. As we get older, isn’t it amazing how we begin to see things from a different perspective… some things that were once at the top of our priority list seem to not be quite as important as they once were.

Fast forward to 2019. I was in Ruston, Louisiana at the Dixie WS, not as a coach but, now to watch my youngest, 30-year-old son, umpire. He is a college umpire and ten times better than I ever even thought I was. So much so that he had been chosen to do the plate in the championship game. I believe it was Alabama vs South Carolina. The two teams had faced each other earlier in the week and South Carolina had been the winner by a 2 to 1 score. Obviously, two very good and well coached teams. There had apparently been some back and forth during that game or afterwards, because the championship had not started off so well, with some drama between players and coaches. I was a neutral observer but could sense the tension on the field and heard some things in the stands that let me know this was more than a game to them, it was a battle. In about the 4th or 5th inning, there was something going on in the 3B dugout. I thought one of the players had possibly got too hot and dehydrated. That had happened several times in this series. It was the peak of summer, at brand new all turf complex, and we all know it can be 10 to 15 degrees hotter on turf. The game was stopped and medical personnel were seen converging on the dugout. It turned out that it was a coach and I heard someone say they were performing CPR and that this coach had two sons on the team. Needless to say, there was a long delay before an ambulance finally came and took him away.

The atmosphere totally changed. It went from hostility, to sympathy and compassion. When the game resumed, some of the young players were visibly shaken and crying. They were playing again, but it was like the air had been let out of both teams. Winning didn’t seem near as important as it had before. When the game was over, there were some opposing players who hugged rather than slap hands. As young as they were, they came to the realization that it was, just a game, and there are much more important things in life. I didn’t know any of them but, I was proud of all of them. They may have even taught some of the adults there some life lessons… including me.  

Not confirmed, but I heard that the coach was released from the hospital the following day.

Thank you Lord!

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Coaching a team was stressful for those players that did not get much practice off the field, you know those kids...

We had such a kid, great heart, never talked, very polite, did all that was asked of him.
He was small in comparison, inevitably he was assigned to RF, not a very coveted location.

1 out with a man on 1st

A batter sent a ballistic missile to RF, I could hear the coaches sigh as it was going to be another missed ball...

The young man tracked the ball like a pro, he held up his glove and I swear he closed his eyes as he turned his head...he caught the ball and had the mind to throw it to 1st as R1 was now on his way to 3rd.

The entire team ran onto the field (like he had hit a home run) and cheered, screamed, and carried him back to the dugout.

I hardly see that kid any more, but when I do he greets me with “hi coach” and I reply “how are you right fielder”.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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14 minutes ago, BigVic69 said:

Coaching a team was stressful for those players that did not get much practice off the field, you know those kids...

We had such a kid, great heart, never talked, very polite, did all that was asked of him.
He was small in comparison, inevitably he was assigned to RF, not a very coveted location.

1 out with a man on 1st

A batter sent a ballistic missile to RF, I could hear the coaches sigh as it was going to be another missed ball...

The young man tracked the ball like a pro, he held up his glove and I swear he closed his eyes as he turned his head...he caught the ball and had the mind to throw it to 1st as R1 was now on his way to 3rd.

The entire team ran onto the field (like he had hit a home run) and cheered, screamed, and carried him back to the dugout.

I hardly see that kid any more, but when I do he greets me with “hi coach” and I reply “how are you right fielder”.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

@BigVic69, your story INSTANTLY flashed me back to my childhood and listening to this song by one of my mom's favorite music groups.

 

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On 2/2/2021 at 10:40 AM, Stan W. said:

Mine isn't funny but it's something I'll never regret.  I called the Police.

I umpired his game on a storybook beautiful day. It was Blue sky, sunshine and baseball. I know he was nine or ten years old. My memory of him is not all that clear until he came to bat. I was umpiring a kid game as a favor for my assignor.  

I saw the pitch that came hard at him, I cringed knowing he was going to be hit and I watched him crumple when the ball hit him square in the body. He went down and the tears flowed.....

I bent to help him, and try to comfort him. His coach ran out and we lifted his shirt to see the mark the ball made. And then we saw it, it was already red and angry looking. But when lifting the shirt, I saw the other marks the angry purple bruises that only fists and adult hands can make and way too many to be accidental.....

He tugged his shirt down and got up and he said he was fine. He took a moment to dry his tears and kid like ran off to first.The game, of course, was more important than his getting hurt.

I was the one who called the police. I'll never regret that.

His coach bought the hotdogs after the game, more to delay the departure of the team, while I called the police. I heard later he was taken out of the home and his parental abuser was charged. I heard he moved to live with relatives. I never saw him again.

I wonder so much about this boy. How could anyone do that to a child. On TV now there are ads for reporting child abuse....and the reason most don’t is "how can I be sure?". I can tell you that I was, that day, and remain today, 100% totally sure. The evidence of the beatings that boy was taking left me no grey area....

I wonder if baseball was his refuge from the monster. I wonder if he is ok. I wonder if he ever knew how much he has affected my life and my relationship with my son and with the boys I umpire. I wonder if the coach and I will ever be able to meet and not talk about that day......so far its the first thing we mention when we meet after a long off season. I wonder how many others are out there. I wonder if he is happy.

Best thing I ever did on a ball field?.....I called the Police.

 

 

 

Stan, I'm a retired police officer.  This type of thing is, unfortunately, quite common.  I'm also a combat veteran, but my PTSD didn't happen overseas.  It happened being a beat cop in the ghetto; in fact, I've buried more friends in blue than I have in green.  One of the primary contributors to my PTSD is cases involving kids, especially sexual abuse.  Most of my nightmares are events from real life, not made up images that most people see on the rare events they have them.  If I wrote them down, you would cry.

Every single applicant to become a cop who passes the psych exam has one thing in mind about why they want to do the job:  Helping people.  One of the biggest reasons they get bitter and jaded within the first 5 years on the job is the realization that it rarely has anything to do with helping people.  I would have loved to have been the cop to respond to that ball diamond.  

Thank you for doing the right thing.

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