In a pizza joint in Newquay, Cornwall this week, taken with that Hipstamatic app on Sally’s iPhone (click twice to enlarge).
No sooner had it started than it ended, with both kids having played baseball since mid-April here in merrie olde England for the second year.
Scarlett played in T-Ball, with me as her assistant coach, though as the season progressed I spent more & more time with Miles’ team who needed someone who could pitch for batting practice.
But anyway Scarlett was on the Mariners and played her little heart out. I’ll push her into coaches’ pitch next year (where the coaches pitch to the kids, rather than using a tee). She’s got great hand-eye coordination and is fast. Plus it’s really obvious that she likes playing as part of a team, which sometimes girls don’t get to do enough at her age, where quite often they play individual sports instead.
Miles was playing for the Indians in what they call the minors, playing with boys who were all 1-2 years older than him, as he wasn’t officially old enough to be playing truly competitive baseball this year, but he did well enough in the trials to get in the team. He started playing in the outfield and being catcher, which he liked, as you got to dress up in all the gear. But eventually he was allowed to pitch and ended up as starting pitcher two weeks in a row, pitching three innings each time and doing really well.
His batting improved as the year went on, as it did for all the kids, but it’s quite a different experience having Dad pitch to you so that you can hit it, and have a 9 or 10 year old boy – with all the inherent lack of control they have at that age – pitch to you so try and get you out, with a 17 year old umpire behind you calling the strikes. It was a good learning experience and the NY Mets bat he has ended up with two major dents in it, so we’ll be getting a new one of those at some point.
Anyway click on any of these pictures for (slightly) larger versions, including ones without the heads cut off and there’s loads more higher quality ones here from the month of June.
The boy made his debut in competitive cricket last night, ostensibly playing for Barnes Cricket Club’s U10s. However as the opposition – Hampton Wick Royal – only had 7 players so we lent them 3, one of which was Miles.
They asked him if he wanted to open the batting, but he declined and went in at number 6. He scored a run off his first ball and could’ve had three more runs but wasn’t sure when to run and when to stay – I’d forgotten to drill him on that!
Then it was his (temporary) team’s turn to field. He got to bowl eventually and guess what, he got a wicket with his very first ball, which you can see here (the wicket is right at the start of the video, then the scorer asks for his name as he was a new bowler):
He then got another wicket in his second and final over, leaving him with some pretty good statistics for his first competitive game of cricket.Pretty good considering all the boys were at least a year older than him and some were as old as 11.
We got back home just in time for bed, reminding me that despite his auspicious debut, he is still just a little boy.
At times it looked cool, others it looked less so, and watching him trying to casually flick his hair back out of his eyes was highly amusing. But we decided it had to go, although barbers don’t seem to understand the idea of cutting a little bit off, so most of it went. Still, it’ll be back soon. This was him on Friday on the left, today on the right.
We may be in London now but we’re not neglecting our baseball, not one bit of it. Consequently this past weekend was opening day here in London.
He’s got allocated to the Mets team, as luck would have it and he bagged the number 5 shirt (David Wright, the big hitting third baseman for those of you who don’t know). The parents are almost all American ex-pats here in London (financiers or various types and lawyers), although during our roll call he was one of the only kids actually born in the US among our clutch of 7 and 8 year olds.
They’ve let me be the assistant coach which means I too get one of these fabulous shirts:
You’ll have to ask him why he’s not looking that thrilled about it in this picture (taken with a phone, hence the quality), but suffice to say he had a great time getting back to throwing, catching, but most of all, hitting.
We spent Christmas in Erie, PA, where the temperature and the snow depth fluctuated wildly over the course of 10 days. We got there just before a big dump, as it were, and 6 days later it was 60 degrees at 10pm.
Anyway we had a lot of fun, ate and drank a lot as per usual and the kids loved spending time with their cousins. At one point in the house we had 7 adults and 7 kids staying there; it’s easier when you’re not outnumbered. I put some pics on the site here and there’s a great sequence of her singing a song from High School Musical (don’t ask me which number) on the outdoor sound stage that is Grandpa & Grandma’s front porch, feeling the emotion of each line in the lyric, until her brother comes along and tackles her.
Here’s a taster of the performance:
Kids’ rugby festivals, for the uninitiated, involve multiple teams playing a bunch of games throughout a day. A day in this case lasted from 9.30 to about 3.30. Thankfully the weather was pretty much OK, but from my nephew’s experience, I know they can involve long Saturdays or Sundays spent sitting and standing around on windswept, wet playing fields. That’s for the future, I’m sure.
Today the lad had his first rugby festival experience down in leafy Surrey right near an idealistic little development called Whiteley Village, a place where Postman Pat wouldn’t look out of place. He was part of Rosslyn Park’s Under 7 team playing tag-rugby, hence those tags in the pictures. Very much like flag football for our US-based readers.
Here he is in full flight and there’s many more like it here for those with a password, plus a sneak preview of his birthday celebrations: