Grady is going to have a fantastic time with Tyler at the beach this year. After watching part of a little league game in the park on Saturday, Grady has been non stop talking about the game. He loved watching the catcher and so mimics perfectly the catcher's stance, and even holds his throwing hand properly behind his right ankle. I've been pitching him a plastic golf ball and he doesn't have the hang of actually catching it yet.
I was a catcher when I played, so I'm going to have fun giving him my old catcher's mitt and coaching him on the finer points of that position. I always took pride in being a catcher -- I was instrumental in deciding what pitch should be thrown, the pace of the game, alerting everyone to the hitter's strengths and making sure runners weren't too aggressive on the base paths. I enjoyed most when Brian Cameron pitched. He always agreed with my suggestions, and he had a killer curve ball. There was a particularly fast opposing player in my little league days who previous to playing our team hadn't been thrown out stealing second base. I'll always remember the look on his face walking back to the dug out after I had made the perfect throw to the bag. Of course, being a catcher has downsides too. You have to constantly strategize when to take off or put on your pads & guards when you're close to being on deck, because there are so many buckles to adjust each time you take the pads off. Often I'd be in full gear -- chest protector and shin guards -- swinging the bat in the on-deck circle if there were two outs. I'm sure that didn't instill much confidence in the batter. Other downsides are it's hard on the knees to always be crouching, and wearing a cup isn't the most pleasant thing in the world.
We watched the first half of the NCAA Basketball championship with Grady last night and he was interested for only about 10 minutes, then it was on to pretending to play baseball and football. He was so worked up, he got hot and took off his shirt. What I liked best was that he'd make an appropriate comment about every pitch I threw him. When I'd hit his toy glove, he's shout in a deep voice, "Good job Dad! You get two more!," or "I'm going to give you a hug!" He kept telling Liam to "get off the field it's too dirty for your socks!" when he'd wander into our throwing line. Grady also has a very accurate arm when he tosses the ball back from a crouching position. I think he's going to be a very good baseball catcher some day.
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