• 59°

Scoreboard never shows true wins

My son’s junior varsity baseball team got rocked recently by Wheelersburg, 17-0.

But I was proud of him!

Andy was the starting pitcher and he gave up seven runs in the first inning.

Later in the game, he misjudged an infield fly and watched it fall from his glove to the ground.

Then, after the coach summoned another pitcher and moved him to left field, a couple of more balls eluded his glove.

But I was proud of him!

How could I be proud of such a display?

It’s simple. He is everything I could ever ask for in a son and I can’t imagine life without him. My love for him is not determined by a scoreboard.

I know people who have lost children to diseases and disasters. They would give anything to watch their children pitch and play left field….and they wouldn’t care about the final score.

For many years, dating back to my days as a youngster in the Ironton Little League, I’ve witnessed fathers who feel that their pride is on the line with every play their son makes or misses in a ball game. If the son screws up, somehow it reflects badly on the father.

And the son usually pays the price at home for embarrassing the father in public.

You know the type. You might be the type. But I can say wholeheartedly that I’ve never been that type. My love for my son has nothing to do with box scores.

Andy is a tremendous athlete. In the game I mentioned above, he also had a hit and made some great fundamental plays in the outfield, as well as on the pitcher’s mound. I’ve watched him do these things all his life.

And when he loses, I’ve noticed he’s learning to do it with dignity. He doesn’t allow a bad day on the diamond to follow him home.

After the game, I shouldered his bat bag as he carried the team’s ball bag to his coach’s truck. As we walked I said, “I know why you guys lost today.” He threw a curious stare in my direction and took the bait, asking “Why?”

“Because Wheelersburg showed up.”

He smiled and shook his head, bounded the fence separating us from his coach’s truck, where he placed the ball bag, and sprung up next to me again for the stroll to the car.

Food was the newest topic of discussion.

Life had not ended with this loss.

Whether he hits three home runs or makes three errors, I love this young man with all of my heart.

“They’ve beaten us every time,” he said. “But that’s going to change soon.”

I nodded. His enthusiasm and belief in himself and his teammates has always encouraged me.

But I really don’t care if they lose every game.

All I care about is having him in my life.

I could not be more proud of my son!

If you are lucky enough to have a son, I hope you feel the same way.

 

Billy Bruce is a freelance writer who lives in Pedro. He can be contacted at hollandkat3@aol.com.