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From Left Field

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That's our girl!

By The Staff

I just got back into Springfield on Sunday after spending a few days in hot and humid St. Louis. My main purpose in visiting was to attend the wedding of one of my former band mates. It also gave me an excuse to see Cindy and check out how the house is coming along that we’re fixing up to sell. I thought it would be nice to get away for a while and leave work behind. So what did I do while I was in The Lou? Why, take pictures, of course!

On Friday evening, Cindy and I decided to catch the granddaughter’s final baseball game of the season. She was playing machine-pitch ball as a member of the Blue Jays. Usually I get a post-game report from Cindy during our nightly phone calls. But now I was going to get to see a game fore the first time in a long while.

I looked forward to simply being a spectator. But as we headed out the front door, Cindy asked me a question in that certain tone that women have. The tone of voice that is so manipulative that few men have a chance to break its powerful grasp.

“Are you going to take your camera?” she asked. Now, deep down, I know it was her way of getting me to take some pictures of Savannah playing ball. And if the truth be told, I was planning on doing that anyway.

We got to the field and the game was just getting underway. The all-girl Blue Jays were taking on the Orioles, a team of boys. Savannah started the game in the outfield and did pretty well. In her league, teams continue to bat until they get three outs or score five runs. It’s always a little confusing keeping track with how each league operates. Basically, I’ve just learned to sit back and enjoy it for what it is.

Savannah did really well at the plate. Her dad Jeff has obviously been working with her on her hitting. She’s one of the best hitters on the team. (Cindy made me say that. Ouch! She just hit me for typing that. Oh! She did it again!) I surrendered my seat on the 100-plus degree metal bleacher and crept along the foul line to get some photos. Of course, the main drawback about watching a game through the viewfinder is that I may be focused on one thing while another thing happens, and it would always happen to be a great play that I missed.

“Did you see that?” Cindy asked. Apparently, while I was framing a shot somewhere else, Savannah, who was now playing third base, made a spectacular stop and stepped on the bag for an out. It was the best play of the game. (You know the drill by now, I’m just trying to avoid another punch.)

I was also having to deal with Savannah’s younger brother, Alec, during the game. He was more interested in having me try to catch him or doing funny things with our sunglasses. That’s OK, I was just happy to get to play with them for the first time in months.

In the end, it was the Orioles over the Jays, but the kids were in a good mood because they were heading to Culver’s after the game. Apparently butterburgers, french fries and ice cream makes everything alright.

After watching so many Washington County kids play ball, it was nice to finally get to watch a game where I had a personal interest. I smiled with pride with every hit she got, every play she made or didn’t make in the field, and even when she took a big drink of Gatorade while sitting on the bench. It was also fun seeing the glow on Cindy’s face as it beamed with pride.

Parents and grandparents who have kids playing in youth leagues should make the most of these opportunities. Don’t take them for granted. Try to see as many games as you can. Chances are, you won’t have to drive 350 miles like I did to catch a game.