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Baseball mom misses the call

Posted: February 22, 2015 - 12:12am

Baseball moms are nail biting, pants washing, folding chair carrying, sports drink purveying, yelling, screaming, hoping, praying machines. Except for me. I’m fortunate they tolerate my demeanor and my sons’ stained pants.

Legendary baseball moms walk among us, the ones who love a good fundraiser and sell all of their tickets plus mine. They know every player’s number and position. Their baseball IQ is so high that they can keep “the book,” hold down a conversation and eat a concession stand hotdog simultaneously. I envy their acumen.

I answer the mother behind me, “Because I don’t know what’s going on.” Her question snaps me out of a trance induced by the chill air, the umpire’s clicker and the field lights. “What happened? Did I miss something?” I scan the field to see if one of my sons appears proud or injured.

Two of my sons sustain themselves on the game. I’ve been watching them watch home plate since the trials of T-ball. Over the last 10 years, sets of bleachers from north Georgia to south Georgia, east to west, have carved horizontal ridges into my posterior.

I regret not knowing what fielder’s choice means. I’m embarrassed that I struggle to recite the infield fly rule. Waiting for, anticipating the exciting play exhausts me. My wandering thoughts intrude and take me away with them.

The mom behind me, forgiving in so many ways, says, “I saw a YouTube video about cleaning baseball pants at a carwash. You hang them on the rack for car mats and spray them.” She knows the trouble I have with laundry in general and white baseball pants in particular. She doesn’t know I’m considering hanging all of my dirty laundry on the carwash rack. I tell her I think it’s a grand idea and that I plan to send my sons straight there after every game.

Baseball moms, not baseball boys, wash baseball pants. It’s written in the rule book. She hesitates then says, “I’ll let you know if it works.” She hasn’t given up on me, her baseball Pygmalion, but she’s skeptical of my capacity.

“Did you hear that ball smack that car in the parking lot earlier?” she changes the subject. “It was loud.” She laughs. “Some idiot parked in foul ball territory.”

My shoulders slump. “That was my car,” I confess. “I thought I’d gotten the last good parking space.” A legendary baseball mom would know better. She turns around and calls out, “Mama! That was Lucy’s car that got hit earlier.” Then she leans to her right and spreads the news to some other folks huddled on the cold bleachers. Her daddy asks, “The minivan you write about in the newspaper? The one with 250,000 miles on it?”

I nod. She sees my husband and tells him that the foul ball hit my car. “Is it totaled,” he quips.

Their ability to worry with me while attending to the runner on third neither breaks my calm nor improves my chances of achieving legendary baseball mom status. I’m more suited for infamy than for legend.

Lucy Adams is the author of Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run E-mail Lucy at lucybgoosey@aol.com.

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