The baseball season is almost over for my two sons and myself. This was the best year for me, as both an assistant coach and a dad. I was the official asst. coach for the Rookie league, Oregon State Beavers and got to help out quite a bit with the AAA Minor league Beavers. How cool are their hats? Black with an orange OS. Okay, maybe it’s only cool for an Operating System savvy dad.
They don’t score the games in Rookie league, composed of 6-8 year old boys. The emphasis is on building fundamentals of the game and appreciation for our national pastime. Our guys started out pretty rough but by the end of the season they all were doing very well for their age and abilities. At the start of the season, both coaches spent just about all of our time in the field on defense and by the last game, we were confident enough to stay at the dug out and just call out minor adjustments. That was very cool to see as a coach. Their hitting improved tremendously from the first few games to the last. Time spent in the batting cages helped as did individual attention during practices.
We had to endure some typically foul Spring weather in East Boise this year. Everything from near freezing temps to rain, sleet and snow. But the kids gave their all and had a good time playing the game. Which is what we coaches wanted to have happen. The Rookie years will determine if a boy wants to go on and play baseball or try another sport. Hopefully the oldest kids on our team will continue on into the Minor leagues. The youngest kids on our team I hope to get back next year so we can carry on building on their fundamentals.
To our parents I’d like to say thank you for letting me coach your sons, they are champions one and all. I really appreciated the opportunity to teach them my favorite sport. I hope to see some of you back next Spring. Both coach John and myself will be with the Beavers again.
My oldest son was recruited into the AAA Minor league this year despite being at the lowest end of the age bracket. His coach talked us down a bit over our concerns he would be too immature to play with 10-12 year olds, him being only 9. Turned out he was able to play with the older kids just fine and earned a spot as second base for most of the season.
In AAA, the parents have to step up and do occasional duty as Home Plate Umpire and Field Umpires. I did my fair share of calling games and really had a good time with it. The parents of all the teams we played were good sports. Some of the opposing coaches had words, but nothing serious. I also got the chance to help out the coach with his practices and even to base coach a few games. He put me on third base coach so I could wave more kids home. It was fun.
The AAA Beavers only managed to win 2 games this year, but that was an improvement over last year so my son was happy. ;-) The Beavers were really only blown out a couple times and kept most of their games pretty close. There were two kids with little brothers on the Rookie Beavers and that was a first for us.