‘Mudcat’ Malley

Locust Grove Mudcats

Yesterday was opening day for the Locust Grove Little League. For weeks Chase has been going to practice, out in the yard throwing the ball or catching the ball or hitting or swinging, or running or anything he could do to prep for “the big game”. He didn’t get his uniform until the morning of so he was a bit concerned about that in addition to all the butterflies about being on the field with all the people watching. As it got closer and closer to the actual game you could tell that it was all he could think about. He was ready!

So the Mudcat’s took the field (Chase playing first base) and were all set to get this game started. Since this was the first official game all the kids were still a bit unsure of where to throw the ball or when to run or which one of the dozen’s of yelling adult voices to listen to. Chase may have missed a few catches for a play at first, but he also was right there to get a few kids out. His eye was always on the ball and he was focused. Eventually the Mudcat’s were up to bat. Chase was deep in the line-up to bat, so it took a while for him to get out there. Once he did he got a base hit. It wasn’t the grandslam he wanted, he didn’t send the ball soaring over the fences into someone’s windshield, but he got on base. He did exactly what he was supposed to, listed to the first base coach, ran like the dickens and stayed put. That inning the Mudcat’s didn’t score any runs.

The game went on and eventually the Cats lost. Their very first game was loss in points but a gain in fun. Those kids were out there having a blast! They were doing what they had been practicing and trying their best. No hard feelings where had cause they knew there would be other game and much more fun to be had.

Since this was opening day there was a wonky game schedule. If they lost the first game they would play again at 2:30, if they won the first game they would play at 4:30, then if they lost that they were out, but if they won that there would be a 6:30 game. Luck for us, we only had one more game that day. So Chase hung out with his dad and Jess and I went and had some lunch and piddled around the house trying to get chores done we knew we’d have to do at some point this weekend. We made it back to the game just in time to watch the first pitch (parking was a mad disaster). This game was between the Mudcats and The Braves!

You could tell the kids were tired but somehow more into this game. They were more focused on where throw the ball or when to swing. It was like a different team! Chase had 2 turns to bat in this game, the first was a double! He slammed the ball into the outfield getting it just shy of the fences. Had the kids not thrown the ball when they did, ‘Mudcat’ Malley would’ve been on third. The next kid up didn’t do so well, so that inning was over. As the game went on The Braves just couldn’t hold up to the onslaught that the Mudcat’s were bringing! A few more outs here, some more runs there, and the game was over. Final score was like 8 to 5 or something. The Mudcat’s could now celebrate their first victory!

Chase played SO well out there. He was working with his teammates, listening to the coaches, focused on hitting the ball and really made us proud. He really likes playing baseball and we’ll keep him at it for as long as he wants. I never thought I’d be a dad out there with a camera filming my son in a little league baseball game. Those kinds of things just never came as a thought to me. Sports were just not something I did growing up so it never occurred to me that I’d be out there with a kid enjoying them as much as I did. I’m so proud of him and can’t wait to be out there again with my camera, cooler, sunflower seeds, and wife, and anything else I can bring to make these moment’s last a life time.