I must admit it–I was never a particularly good athlete.
I did make the basketball all-star team once in sixth grade, but only because every team had to have a representative, and our team was the worst team in the league.
I did make the varsity soccer team in high school, but only because nobody played soccer in those days, and the coach knew I grew up in Germany–so I didn’t even have to try out for the team.
So, needless to say, I wasn’t expecting any of my kids to be good athletes. My first son Tommy had less than zero interest in sports. He still does. He’ll go to a Cubs game with me once a year, but it’s really only because he enjoys the spectacle of it. My second son Johnny did play soccer for five or six years, but his heart was never really in it. When he hit middle school, he was done.
I wasn’t expecting much out of my youngest son Sean either, but it became clear at a very young age that he was a little different. He not only had natural athletic ability, he had a work ethic, and an eye-popping dedication and love for the game. And that game was baseball.
His coaches absolutely love him because he wants every ball hit to him. He gets his uniform dirty in practice drills. He roots for his teammates, and supports them in good times and bad. He’s above average in hitting, pitching, and fielding–and he does it all with a big smile on his face.
For that, he was rewarded this season with his first all-star game appearance. The game was played in hundred degree heat this week, and his team lost the game 7-6, but I can’t remember enjoying a baseball game as much as I enjoyed that one.
Sean went 1-2. The hit was a little doink infield hit. He only reached base because he hustles on every play. The out was a line drive smash that went right to the right fielder. In the field, he made two incredible plays at third base.
And his dad, the kid that was often picked last for the baseball team on the school playground (because he stunk at baseball), couldn’t have been prouder.
Way to go, kid!