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Matt and the Bat

June 19, 2012

As my boys were growing up, we played a lot of baseball in the back yard.  The yard was narrow and the boys small, so we used a plastic ball and a plastic bat.  In the beginning we used a tee to hold the ball, but as they improved we transitioned to live pitching, hitting, and running.

One summer afternoon, when Matt was about 5 years old and Kyle 3 ½, we were playing ball.  Matt stood on second base.

Kyle took his final warm up swings and asked, “Someday, Dad, do you think we can get a wooden bat?”

“Sure, son.  I don’t know why not.”


Before throwing the next pitch, I glanced back at Matt, still standing on second.

His mouth was hanging open.  The color had drained from his face.

Ashen, he looked as if the wind had been knocked out of him.


Stunned, I stopped mid-windup.  “Matt, what’s wrong?”

“Wh…wh…what did Kyle just say?”, he asked cautiously.

I relayed the previous exchange.

Immediately, his color returned and his eyes brightened.

“Oh.”, he sighed.  The relief in his voice was palpable.


“What did you think he said?”

“I thought he said, ‘Someday, Dad, do you think we can get rid of Matt?’ “


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