Caleb (not Day #72) is a citizen of the world.
He was born in Kazakhstan and carries a little bit of home with him — a sticker of the flag on his cell phone. Someday, Caleb would like to return to visit Kazakhstan.
“Maybe not in the winter, though.”
His dad is a writer friend of mine and wrote about the difficulties of waiting to adopt Caleb.
For three years, Caleb lived in Hawaii when his dad was planting a church. He still misses the beaches, his school, and his friends. All I know about Hawaii I learned from LOST. I miss it, too.
And now Caleb pitches on the high school team in Springfield, Missouri. A sidearm pitcher. I should probably connect him with AJ (Day #63). This weekend, he’ll be the starting second baseman for the varsity. As a freshman. I never even warmed the bench for the varsity.
Caleb’s family and my family go to church together and attend the same small group. When Caleb’s family hosts, we play various trivia-like games and Caleb and I have often been partners. He’s got a quick wit and even quicker fingers, both of which come in handy as we try to top his dad’s score. I think we actually won once. In general, he’s soft spoken with a great sense of humor and deep questions.
I picked Caleb up this morning and took him to practice at Nichols Park. (One of my most memorable days on a field occurred at Nichols Park; I wrote about it in Dreamfield.)
He showed me all of his pitches, all of them with more movement and pop than I had when I was a freshman. He’s a Cardinals fan and is chasing MLB dreams with software engineering as a solid back-up plan.
He asked me exactly one question in our time together.
“With all the throwing you’re doing this year, does your arm ever hurt?”
I remember well the soreness I had playing high school baseball through the first few weeks of tryouts and practices and games. I even had to spend one practice not throwing, which resulted in running and more running followed by more running.
This year, I have had typical mild soreness, much like after a workout. Doing Mack’s stretches throughout the day really do help. That and Icy Hot. Seriously, that stuff is amazing.
Even so, I still worry a little about hearing a “pop” after one throw and my arm being done. Like a broken rubber band. I guess I could learn to throw left-handed as a worst-case scenario back-up plan.
Caleb balances out all the Royal blue I wear to small group by wearing Cardinal red. From the beginning, the Springfield Cardinals have been quite supportive of #Catch365.
I’d like to nominate Caleb as a first-pitch thrower at a Springfield Cardinals game on behalf of #Catch365 and see him throw a two-seam strike.