Matthew slid into home as I walked onto the field. He then popped back up, dusted himself off, and tore around the bases to slide into home for a second time. On his third dash around the diamond, I tossed a ball to his dad (Day #290) and we tagged him out at the plate.
Matthew is 7 and dreams of one day playing for the Royals. We warmed up with a few grounders and some pop-ups before I learned that Salvy is his favorite player and catching is his preferred position.
So, I toed the rubber and practiced my pitching to Matthew. Once he squatted behind the plate, I remembered having my own Royals-catcher dreams.
It took me a couple of throws to find the release point from the flat mound that was only 35-feet away from home plate. Eventually, we worked into a rhythm and re-enacted the last pitch of the 2015 World Series multiple times, complete with Matthew jumping up and down.
That memory is such a vivid expression of joy, which is an apt summary of playing catch with Matthew. He’s a child after my own heart, too, as he didn’t want to stop playing catch.
Lauren, his 5-year old sister, joined us on the field and also got involved in playing catch and running bases. I gave Matthew homework, “Before this week is over, play catch with your sister.”
We agreed that snowball fights count.
Only 50 catch-playing days left.
Who’s up for tossing a ball in the snow?