Doug: I was going to begin by saying the advent of baseball season was one of the things I always looked forward to the most, coming out of the (usually) long winters that Chicagoland is known for. But as my mind came to rest on that, it occurred to me that not only do I look forward to baseball at the Major League level, I really miss my sons not playing any more. Around this time of year -- probably for 10-12 years -- I'd begin shopping for whatever baseball equipment they would need for the coming season. It may have been some equipment for around the house, such as a hitting stick or a screen to use with a tee. I loved searching for bats -- never the new, expensive models of "this year", but always on eBay for last year's models. Big-time savings there. And gloves. Nothing better than getting a new glove and breaking it in. We used this shaving cream-type of product that absorbed into the leather while baking in the oven. No kidding -- three rounds of application and a few hours of catch and it was amazing how pliable the leather would become. Man, I'm getting a little misty just thinking of this.
Doug: So today let's turn it to you. What do you recall of your own childhood as winter began to loosen its grip? Were there certain rites of spring that you treasured? It may not have been athletics -- was it the freedom of bike riding, or of playing cops and robbers through your neighborhood? How about the planning of and anticipation for a family vacation once school got out? And for those of you with grown or almost-grown children, what do you miss about their youth at home? As always, thanks in advance for your memories!
|Doug's youngest, 2007 Little League. Nine homers in the regular season.|
|The boys at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in 2009|