charlie-brownGreetings, my fellow port swillers!

Well, Spring is kinda, sorta, almost in the air and you know what that means…Yes, that softball season is upon us once again.

Friday afternoon saw teh first practice of the eldest gel’s 13-16 y.o. “senior” squad, a level devoted to getting girls ready to try out for high school ball.  The gel had not picked up a ball in a couple years and I confess that I was a leetle apprehensive about what might happen.  Would she still remember anything?  Would she be afraid of the ball?

Well, from the preliminaries, it doesn’t look like I had much to worry about.  The gel has always had a strong arm and a good eye, and from watching the other girls slantendicular, it rapidly became clear that her skill set was at least within visiting distance of most of those who had stuck with the league program.   If she puts her back into it, I think she’ll do just fine.

Of course, because I was one of only two dads who stuck around for the whole practice, I was immediately drafted as an assistant coach.  (Oddly, or perhaps not, three of the other girls on the squad had been on teams I coached in past years, so there was a kind of mini old-home week for Self and the eldest.)

The youngest gel is playing AAA ball again this year.  Her practices started last weekend, but today was a skills clinic down at the fields.  I must say again that there is just something about hanging around at the ballpark that I absolutely love – the sights, the sounds, the feel of the place.

But of course, because I was standing about soaking it all in, I quickly got drafted into helping with that, running one of the clinic stations.

Between the fly balls I was lobbing for the eldest gel’s teammates yesterday and the throwing and grounders drills I was running today, my own poor arm is pretty durn tired tonight.  (Let’s hope it doesn’t get worse – I doubt very much whether my insurance covers Tommy John surgery.)

Going forward, the youngest gel has fielding practices on Tuesdays and Thursdays and the eldest on Fridays.  Both gels have batting practice on Sunday afternoons.*   That’s before the actual games start at the beginning of next month.  Guess where ol’ Robbo is going to be spending a lot of time.

As I say, though, I love it.

* In case you’re wondering, the middle gel is also playing softball this spring.  But she’s taking it as a P.E. course at school, so I’m off the hook as far as coaching her goes.

UPDATE:  Oh, what the heck…. It’s still a couple weeks until I traditionally run this clip in honor of Opening Day for the MLB, but whaddaya say we bend a bit this once….

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