Monday, November 5, 2012

Latham Family Adventures: All Things Baseball

     When the oldest Latham boy turned ten years old, he joined a little league baseball team. Up to that point, his baseball training wasn’t very formal. He and his siblings were introduced to the game by their dad. Being a ball player and avid fan of the game, Dad wanted them to learn all about it. He taught them the basic skills needed to hit the ball, catch, and throw. That was the beginning of many sessions of batting practice and fielding grounders.
     All the Little Lathams loved the time spent playing ball with Dad, but some of them (the boys in particular) took the game one step further. As long as they had a ball and something that resembled a bat, they were ready to play. And they were good at incorporating baseball into other games they played on a daily basis!
     For example, jumping on the trampoline. It was no longer enough to bounce and flip around. They created a game that involved someone on the ground throwing pop flies to the person on the tramp. The fielder was required to make the fanciest catch possible. This hopefully involved nabbing the ball in mid-flight, landing with a roll of some kind and not breaking any bones.
      Another activity turned baseball-ish was a summertime favorite. The slip-n-slide! A long sheet of plastic was placed in the grass. Next, a garden hose poured a stream of water from one end. This made a wonderfully sloppy base path. Three players were required to play this game. Luckily, we had three Little Latham guys. Player One pretended to catch a pop fly. Player Two tagged up at third and ran toward home on the sip-n-slide.  And Player Three was the catcher. This last fellow tried to tag the runner after receiving a blistering throw from Player One. Of course, the runner slid the entire length of the plastic sheet, face first through the water. And of course, there was always some kind amazing tag out at the plate!
     They had a blast and played for hours keeping scores and statistics. Now I watch them play ball in high school and college. Judging from the bumps and bruises they bring home, I’d say those “fancy catches” were much easier back when they were Little Lathams playing on their trampoline!


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