Yesterday was Miss Baseball’s one-year anniversary. For those of you who don’t know me, I am a mom with two wonderful boys who live with autism. When you live with someone with autism, it is very easy to lose yourself, and I did. I was so busy being a mom, nurse, occupational therapist, speech therapist and special needs teacher to my boys, I forgot about me. I am not ashamed to say I became very depressed. I even went to therapy. I found a great therapist who didn’t use a pad to solve the problems but a simple question. What do you like to do? Stop being everything to everyone else and start being something for you. I rediscovered my passion for writing, and then baseball came back into my life. Then I combined my two loves, writing and baseball, and Miss Baseball was born.
What a wild ride this has been. I went from not knowing how Twitter works to having almost 800 followers. My Facebook page has some of my most wonderful followers. Thank you to all my fans. Your support means a great deal to me. I would also like to thank all my baseball players who have been supportive of me.
When I hurt my knee, Derek Holland gave me some wonderful words of encouragement.
@hollieham0 @GRICHARDS26 stop positive and work hard. We are behind u and support u
— Derek Holland (@Dutch_Oven45) January 15, 2015
@hollieham0 @GRICHARDS26 stay positive — Derek Holland (@Dutch_Oven45) January 15, 2015
@hollieham0 go slow and be patient. Trust the staff
— Derek Holland (@Dutch_Oven45) January 20, 2015
//platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsEncouragement and positivity are important in recovery. Having Derek Holland’s words really made all the long hours of physical therapy worth it. I am all better and very grateful for the kind words.
Thank you again Dean Palmer for my autographed photo. When I wrote about Dean Palmer, I never thought in a million years he would respond. And I am amazed that he did.
@hollieham0 it would be my pleasure to sign it for you.
— Dean Palmer (@Ddp1607) January 15, 2015
On a more serious note, being a special needs parent, I am very particular to the charities that I support. While I don’t have any children with vascular birthmark, it frightens me to think that there is a child with one of these and it is either misdiagnosed or, worse, wrong advice is given. Please go to the Frank Catalanotto Foundation. Learn about this condition and all the good work that the foundation does. Also, to Frank Catalanotto, thank you for all the retweets of my articles. I wouldn’t be here without your support.
Last but certainly not least: Frank’s Ranger teammate Gabe Kapler, whose blog on KapLifestyle inspired me to write. I am very honored to be a part of the KapLifestyle family, and I would like to thank my “brothers” Matt Fields and Matt Paré.
I’ve got to do a quick shout-out to Cleat Geeks. Thank you for letting me be a part of your website. I really enjoy writing for you.
There are also some great people behind the scenes. I would like to thank Peter Summerville and Stephanie St. Amour. Thank you Stephanie for all the MANY times you have helped me on my blog.
Finally to Duncan Gilman, my friend since the seventh grade. He’s also my social media guru. He tells me do this and do that, and it would help my blog. I would do this and that, and each day my blog got more traffic, and I got more followers. He has celebrated every triumph and consoled every failure. There would not be Miss Baseball without Duncan. Thank you is not enough, but I am at a loss for words on my gratitude for all that you do for me.
Today, I thought I would end with my favorite article. It’s something that I truly believe: Baseball is life. No matter where you go or what you do, baseball is always there.
Baseball is life
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.
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.