I'm walking towards the field at Marian (dressed to play, since I'm playing immediately after) and I see Nate's mom and grandmother staring at me from the stands. They thought it looked like me, but surely, it wasn't. I forget sometimes that not everybody knows I play baseball on top of announcing for the high school's team. I surprised a couple of the players too. We were all talking after their game ended, who did I play for, where was I playing, how was I hitting, a little of the whole not-playing-much issue and all that. Somebody (and I forget who) suggested that maybe we'd forfeit today and I wouldn't have to sit on the bench all afternoon. I'm like, come on, I want to play, and if we forfeit I don't even have the chance. Never mind how much it would suck if that happened, since it's a 35-mile drive each way.
I get to Chula Vista about noon, and there's nobody there. I call the answering machine at home, and sure enough we got canceled. *rolls eyes*
My own (non-)game aside, I'm glad I drove down there. It was nice to see those guys playing together again. As much fun as it is to play baseball, in and of itself, it's a lot more fun when you can play with a group of your friends. These guys have been playing together, much of the time, ever since Little League. As time wears on, especially through adolescence and high school, friends drift apart, people change, and they give up many activities of their childhood. In my experience, almost everybody that did not make the team at school hung it up at that point. Many of the rest quit playing at the end of high school. And here these guys are, during and past their freshman year of college, still playing baseball together. Just for fun.
I've had several of them comment to me this week that they're having more fun now than they did in high school. They're not playing for their school, or for coaches anymore, just for themselves and each other, just for the pure pleasure of playing. Part of what endeared me to the program at the high school was that I saw a lot of passion amongst and camraderie between the players. I've seen teams that don't have that, even some teams that perform very well. They still do, after all this time.
(Now that it's a year and a half old and all the guilty parties have graduated, it's probably safe to post the Yuma photos now.)