Our kids spent their spring and summer at the park for the fun of playing, spending time with their friends and to match their skills against their opponents. For many kids, somewhere in the back of their minds (or right at the front) is the dream of someday playing in the Major Leagues.
This 3-minute video shows what is for many professional players, the most memorable moment in their playing career ……their first major league hit. Imagine the exhilaration of these players as they round first base thinking to themselves, “It just happened! I did it! I got a hit in the Major Leagues!”
Those Are Real People Out There
These moments are fun to watch and are reminders that the players on the field are people no different than us in many ways. Often the player’s family and friends are in the stands; the cameras zero in on them and we see the elation they are feeling. The people closest to the player, on a personal level, seeing that little kid they watched grow up, actually getting a hit in the Big Leagues.
For many of those folks, until that moment, major league players were distant strangers, people they saw only on TV or from their seat in the stands among thousands of other fans. Those players were larger than life; super heroes. In a way they weren’t real. But on this day, one of those players is their son, brother, childhood friend. Perspective sets in; the guys out there are real people, they just happen to be really good at playing baseball.
Get The Ball
People in professional baseball are acutely aware of the significance for a player getting their first major league hit.
Commentators make sure to say that it was the players first hit. With today’s technology, the players and their family’s can get the video of the moment and have it as a keepsake forever; something to play at Thanksgiving or Christmas when the family is gathered together, and all can relive the moment together.
The player’s teammates and coaches know the significance of the moment. It is tradition among the players and coaches to have the ball removed from the game to give it to the player. The players on the opposing team recognize the significance of the personal achievement for that player. Regardless of the game situation, they make sure the ball is delivered the ball to their opponent’s dugout.
One instance in the video, the starting pitcher, who was competing as hard as he could to get that batter out, gets the ball following the play. He’s unaware that it was the other guy’s first hit. But as soon as he’s alerted of what just happened, without hesitation, he turns and tosses the ball out of the game, so it can be saved for the batter. The pitcher’s body language says, “Oh man, of course, this was huge for that guy, here’s the ball”.
The Dream Comes True
It’s early August, most kids have wrapped up their summer play and have a few weeks to do things other than baseball before going back to school (and possibly getting back on the field for Fall Ball). These are the endless, carefree days of childhood. Time when a young person is free to dream.
And maybe, while they dream of someday being a pro, there is a big kid out there on a Major League ballfield feeling the crack of the ball against their bat and see it sail safely into the outfield grass. And as they run towards first base they realize, at that very moment, the dream they had as a little kid is coming true.