I did not have the opportunity to post yesterday for a number of reasons. However, the most important reason was that it was our Tink's birthday! We spent the day together and traveled as a family to see Buddy pitch (or sit in the bullpen) during the evening game on campus. It was a great day and we enjoyed being together.
With that said, because it was a very important day, I tried to do things with Tink that were special or out of the norm. So, we had time to browse in the stores, have a leisurely lunch, shop, and sit at the bar before the game. I believe that this was the first time that I sat at a bar with my daughter (who was carded by the bartender....yet, I was not....) and her dad. It was time to order my "usual"....dad ordered his usual club soda....it was Tink's turn and she decided on a "Shirley Temple". That's right...a concoction of soda and some type of cherry sweetener. The bartender looked cross eyed at her...but that's Tink....true to herself...no pretensions....just being herself. She would rather have a soda than a mixed drink. As a mom, I love it!
Game time approached and we got our tickets and sat in the midst of the Greeks. Not the Greeks from Greece, but the sorority and fraternity type of Greeks. It was "Greek Night" at the stadium, so the alphas and betas and zetas were represented. I expected loud and rowdy behavior, but did not see it. They were quite subdued, maybe even a bit tired from classes or last night's party. So, Greek night was not as I had expected.
There was definitely a chill in the air as we donned our "watching baseball in the mountains" attire. This consists of sweaters, long pants, gloves, two coats and a blanket. It was dad's first game, and he did not feel the need to bring a coat...rookie mistake. If he wanted to appear cool, he certainly was...by the middle portion of the game, Tink and I had to surrender our blanket to him.
There was a bit of excitement on our part as the opposing team's coach was one of the coaches who had rejected Buddy when he tried out as a senior. The coach's "we'll be watching you..." never materialized during his senior year and therefore was never contacted again. This had been a blow to Buddy since he really wanted to attend this university (or any D1 school). So, once again, a big chip was on the big kid's shoulder as this team drove into town in their big coach bus. Remember the old Western movies when the bad guys in black hats rode into town on their horses? The townspeople were scared and hid in the saloon under the bar, yet the sheriff bravely walked in the middle of town with his arms ready to grab his guns and shoot upon provocation. Well, the baseball version of an old Western is not as exciting. However, Buddy was the sheriff waiting for the bad guys to yell "draw!" The question of the day was "will Buddy get a chance to prove to the opposing coach that he was wrong to stop recruiting him?"
The answer is "yes!" By the top of the 9th, the mid reliever began to fatigue. He had one out and one player on base. The team was up by two runs and they were desperate to win especially after Sunday's spanking by the conference team. The pitching coach walked slowly to the mound...the music began....Lynard Skynard's "Give me three steps..." was playing on the loudspeaker and Buddy's face appears on the scoreboard and he runs out to the mound...vengeance(in a figurative way!) revenge! It is time to show them what they could have had....First batter he faced....strike out! The second batter....grounded out to first base. Game over! Buddy has his first save and satisfaction of knowing that this team had made a mistake. As the players shook hands, Buddy stopped and approached the head coach. He mentioned that he had attended his camp. He thanked the coach for producing an excellent camp that helped him develop his pitching skills. Sheepishly, the coach said that he remembered him and wished him luck. Buddy walks out of the stadium and handed Tink the game ball as a memento of his first college save and a birthday present.
All in all, both kids received gifts for Tink's birthday. Buddy had the chance to make a point with his pitches, whereas Tink received the game ball. Although. he could have had the opposite reaction when he saw the opposing coach and been intimidated or aware that he was not good enough to play for this team. Instead, he pulled it together and channeled the inner competitor while making a statement with his game rather than with words. In my opinion, this is the best way to make a point. Let your actions speak louder than your words (...advice given to me as a kid by Grandmom).
It was fun and memorable for the family. What happens next is anyone's guess. We'll travel again this weekend for the conference series and spend Easter together. I will not be able to post until Monday, so stay tuned....until then...Happy Easter to you and your families.