Tag Archives: Baseball

Baseball is life

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I once read a Twitter post that said, “Baseball is not life, it is something you do. Life is something you live.”  A former ballplayer wrote that, and I can understand it. But I disagree  with it. Baseball IS life.

I am back from a much- needed vacation. I toured the city of Corpus Christi while avoiding Tropical Storm Bill. While my intention to go to a single game was washed out, I was treated to a double header the next day.  The USS Lexington is close by, and I took my boys to view the massive museum.  We toured the ship, and when my youngest was too tired to go on, we headed over to the mess deck to get a drink. We passed by this case full of baseball artifacts from 1933 and ’34 Navy baseball teams.

The vision of sailors, playing baseball — I think about them on the flight deck, with gloves on, tossing a ball around.  I have a vision of the stands in the ballpark and sailors watching and cheering the other sailors playing.

I think a little bit about the Twitter quote as I walk over to Whataburger Field. The Frisco RoughRiders and the Corpus Christi Hooks are Double A-ing my fun with a double header.  I get the last ticket behind home plate.

Manger for the Hooks Rodney Linares and acting as manger for the Rough Riders Jason Hart

Hooks Manager Rodney Linares and RoughRiders Acting Manager Jason Hart exchange lineups.

I am in my seat ready to watch some baseball, when my seat neighbor appears, a nice woman with her mom and a family friend. That’s right, I am sitting behind home plate and it is girls’ night out. My neighbor  is a huge Hooks fan, and the teasing commenced as I cheered for the RoughRiders. She and I talk about baseball throughout the game. She had her favorite players, ones she liked because they were kind to her child and others that were kind to the eyes.  Yes, I was giggling like a schoolgirl over some cute ballplayers; not going to apologize for that. Baseball pants are the world’s greatest invention.  Two games, 7 innings each, and the RoughRiders lost both, but there was some good ball in there, and I see a great team.  I even have a favorite RoughRider. His name is Drew Robinson, and he wears 16 (Dean Palmer’s Ranger number) and he has a passion for the game.

The game is over, and I find the Frisco team bus. And while I couldn’t wait for the players to come out, I did meet more people.

I met the founders of Keeper of the Game Foundation, and the business card read, “Serving kids with special needs and disabilities while promoting servant leadership.”  As a mom, of two children with autism, I am in awe. I am then handed a photo of my favorite player, Drew Robinson, and I hang it here near my desk.

After saying my goodbyes and getting in the car to head back to my hotel, I am just as relaxed after a double header as I was playing in the ocean.  Baseball is life — it keeps popping in my mind. Seeing baseball artifacts on the USS Lexington, going to a double header and being with other women who love baseball as much as I do, meeting people who understand how important baseball could be to special needs children. It just made me think, this is life.

Baseball is life. Baseball connects us. It moves us, it bonds us into a community. Baseball has all the markers of life: passion, love, hatred, obsession, lust. Baseball is the perfect euphemism for life.  You may strike out more than you hit a home run, but you never stop swinging.

 

Autism Awareness: From Burnout to Baseball

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Look. If you had one shot or one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted. One moment, Would you capture it or just let it slip?  “Lose Yourself” -Eminem

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This month is Autism Awareness Month, and for me I like to laugh at that. I am very AWARE of Autism. I can’t understand how in this day in age how anyone can’t be aware of Autism. It is everywhere. The Current stat is 1 in 68 and in boys its 1 in 45.

Last June, I had a nervous breakdown. What is called today as “Burnout”  It came on the heals of a very hard year where it was discovered that my second son Ian was diagnosed with Autism level 2. I had been dealing with my older son Ben’s diagnosis and getting him all the help he needed it never even occurred to me that something would be wrong with Ian. I felt like the worse mother in the world. How could I have missed this? Me?!

I was super involved in the Autism world. Reading anything I could get my hands on about Autism and attending conferences.I was an active member of a Autism mom support group.  I was even doing advance parent training with an Applied Behavior Analyst so I could basically be my son’s full time therapist.  When in April we were told the news that  Ian had autism. I thought OK I can handle this I know what to do. Come June I would start to unravel.

I remember when it happened. I am at the pharmacy where they know me and my kids by first name. My children are on six different medications. I should tell you this is not a mom and pop pharmacy but a big chain one. I am there so often they KNOW me. I was going to have to wait 15 minutes for them to finish the order. I saw a friend in passing and said Hi. I sat on a bench and when the friend was out of sight. I burst out into tears right there in the store. I came home wrapped myself in a blanket and cried for three days straight. I couldn’t do not do it again!  How was I going to help Ian? I am drowning in Autism already. There is no more I can give.

My moms support group had a therapist that they used for their group therapy and I called her. I went into therapy. She helped me get rid of my guilt for Ian. She showed me that a life of only autism was no life. I needed to rediscover myself. I went out and got some new friends, I rediscover my love of writing and started (and still working on) a novel. I went back to the love my life. Baseball.

Through the power of social media I was able to connect to baseball in a way I could not have imaged. I found Gabe Kapler and his health and fitness blog. http://kaplifestyle.com/  The advice got me healthy, I went from being sick every month to I don’t know when the last time I was sick now. I have lost count of my healthy months. His blog is my inspiration for this blog. I just saw it and said to myself “That what I want to do. Write about what I care about and tell my story.”

Social media also helped me connect with other former and current ballplayers. When I wrote about how I was too chicken to get Dean Palmer’s Autograph. https://missbaseball.net/2015/01/15/tbt-dean-palmer/

I then shared the story with him via Twitter and his wonderful reaction to my request.

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Well that was it for me. I knew right then and there that I want to be a sports writer. I want to interview ballplayers and go on television. I had a purpose in life. I am me again. I am Miss Baseball.

Now I would love to tell you that everything in my life is just wonderful but” Let’s snap back to reality.” ( that’s for you Kap) I had a set back in December when I decided I could dance like Janet Jackson at a party and tore up my knee.

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Because I was active and healthy I was treated like an athlete and after 8 weeks of intense physical therapy I am back. My first son Ben has had some issues with sleep and seizures and we are dealing with that now.

A new plus. My boys love baseball. We watch it on television. They are big Ranger fans. My boys want to play baseball. I am hoping next year I can put them in a special league and they can really play. Ben is left handed and I think I could make a pitcher out of him. Ian is my tough guy, he’s got a lot of muscle on a little body he’s going to be my big bat.

If there is one thing I have learned is Don’t stop being yourself. Autism is in my life but it shouldn’t be all of my life. My children need to see me, living my life.

Cubs Fans

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After a day of shopping, I was hungry and went into a hot dog shop. This was not any ordinary hot dog shop. It’s a Chicago hot dog shop. Wrigley and baseball stuff all around, a tack board to place a picture of your Wrigley field experience.   The owner is a huge Cubs fan, and I get a chance to try a real Chicago dog in Texas. It even had the neon green relish. While I chopped down on my beefy delight the owner talked Cubs baseball. He’s super excited for the season and he’s prediction the Cubs are going to take the pennant. Not for the reason I think they are going to take the pennant. No his prediction comes straight from Hollywood. In the 2nd Back to the Future movie, the star goes to the year 2015, and the Cubs take the pennant. I admit the little hairs on the back of my neck stood up. Where is the metrics on movie predictions?

But back to Chicago Cubs Fans, they’re everywhere. Whether in a hot dog shop in San Antonio or in the outfield in Minute Maid Park. In 2004, I went on vacation to Houston, to see some NL action. As the stands fill with white jersey with blue pinstripe. I realized that the Cubs Fans were out. I stood up and said “I’m sorry, I didn’t get the memo I was supposed to wear my Cubs gear” this got some laughs and the guy next to me forgave me and talked baseball throughout the game. The Cubs Fans were LOUD and rowdy. I was still cheering for the Astros, and it was the Astros home field but right then and there I was in Chicago.

I love the fandom. No matter where you go there is a Cubs fan not too far away. At my favorite bar one of my favorite people to talk to is a Cubs fan. Tomorrow is Fat Tuesday sounds like a good time to get a real Chicago dog.

To check out my latest find go to http://www.wrigleyvillegrill.com/

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