Friday, April 08, 2005

Baseball...the heartbeat of a Bellinger

Whoops....It's bee almost centuries since I have posted anything!! Please all you "Legend" blog fans forgive me!!

I am a huge baseball fan. I love it! Baseball was in my blood. My grandpa was a star pitcher at his high school. I grew up hearing stories of how hard he could throw. In fact, my grandpa took my family to my first baseball game ever. We drove to his house, and Brent and I both got one of my dad's Tiger hats. My parents still have that picture of us with my grandpa that day. He was so proud that his grandsons were baseball fans. I don't think we had a choice really, it was a family thing at his house, family reunions, church picnics, and any time people were there it was highly probable that people were playing ball, or were trying to get somebody to play with them

I played 1-1 baseball with my brother in the backyard everyday. We were fanatical Tiger fans (it was back when the Tigers were good) and our afternoons were spent pretending to be Cecil Fielder or Rob Deere hitting the ball out of the park, and then trotting around the bases. Our games would usually end up in a fight or atleast and argument. Usually I started it because I was upset my little brother was beating me.

When I was in 2nd grade I was finally old enough to play Little League! My first year I was assigned to left field, and I was so pumped just to be in the starting line up (even if it was the outfield). That year we had a good team, and got 2nd place in the league. I remember going to the awards ceremony, and getting my 1st trophey. I was so proud of that, I placed it on my dresser and showed everybody who came over, my 2nd place trophey!

That summer we moved, and in the new town we lived in the Little League was not as organized as the one I had just left from. Because I was new to the area, Brent and I were picked by the bad team, cause all the good teams didn't know just who we were. That year it was horrible, I don't think we won a game. It was totally embarassing. Here we were, Bellingers and our team was the worst in the league.

The next year was different. I was old enough to move up to the older kids league. I was the youngest kid on my team, and nobody expected the kid that nobody knew from the horrible team to be any good at all. I played my best summer of baseball ever that year. Not only was I a good outfielder, but I was a cluth hitter (If I may say so myself). As the season came to an end we were in the hunt for 1st place in the league, and I was helping contribute to that!

On the last day of the year, we had to play two games in one night. In our first game that day the other team jumped out to a 2-0 lead on us. As I came up to bat in the 3rd inning, I knew I had to come through. With a man on second, I drove the ball into center field and got our first run of the game. My hit started a ralley and we came back and won the game. We won the second game and went on to win the league championship.

After those games, my coach came up to me and my parents as we were about to get in the car. He looked at me and told me that he was going to nominate me the All-Star team. After that he told me that I had "saved the teams bacon all season long". I was so proud! I was the youngest player on the team and I was nominated to be an All Star and the coach said I had saved the team!

I played baseball the next two summers and both times my teams placed 3rd and 2nd in the league. Both were fun, but we could never get over the hump like my first summer. But after those years, my family moved again. I started goin to a Christian school that did not have a baseball team so I stopped playing baseball.

While I was in high school, I had little contact with the game. I would play softball during camp time. Every now and there would be a Saturday game on that I'd catch. But I had developed a new passion, basketball. I left my glove in the garage, my bats in their bag, and the baseballs laying on the floor rotting; basketball was now the game of choice.

How often is this the case for people who grow up in the church. We grow up involved in church. We are there every week memorizing scripture, inviting our neighbors to Sunday School, praying every night, and reading our Bibles. Then inevitably we move away, and replace our faith for something that is cooler. We "play" Christian a couple times a year, and in the mean time let our "equipment" rot.

As I moved through high school and into college, I began to watch baseball more. My friends at school were huge baseball fans, and I began to pay more attention to the game. When I tried to do the things I had used to do with ease, I found that what was once done with easy, was now difficult. The once familiar ball in my hand, now felt foriegn. The accuracy that I once threw the ball, was no where to be found. In the game I was once at home in, I now was an alien.

I'm a huge fan of baseball it's in my blood, and I want to keep it that way.