Baseball Visions · 12 April 2007
Our middle child, Peter, is 8 and in his fifth year of playing baseball. He started with tee ball and has had pitching machines for pitchers for the past three years. And he is starting to play well. I do not have visions of college scholarships or professional baseball contracts. I do have visions of my dad and how his dad must have felt when watching him play baseball.
I first had visions of my dad when Peter was just starting to play tee ball. He would scoop up a grounder like it was nothing and throw it on a rope to first base. And then, when the next ball came to him, he would be staring off into space until a coach yelled, “Peter!” He was and still is a pretty typical young boy who is out on the field trying to look like he is playing baseball. But on those occasions of brilliance, I did and still can see my dad scooping up that ground ball at shortstop and throwing it on a rope to first base.
One of the reasons that I have these visions of my dad is that Peter is much like my dad. He tells jokes like my dad. He looks much like my dad. And in many ways, he is the miniature of my dad. When Peter plays baseball well, he plays like my dad.
I remember watching my dad play baseball as an older man. Then and as a kid, he always played shortstop. He grew up playing with his brothers on the farm and with the adults when he was pretty young. He even played in college for a couple years. I imagine that he was pretty amazing back then but even as an older man, he could scoop up the ball and whip it to first for an out. Almost every time. My mom tells stories about his athletic abilities and how well he played when he was in his prime.
Peter has yet to reach his prime but I can still see my dad when I watch him play. Of course, I watch with pride as my child makes a great play. But I also see an image of my dad superimposed on Peter. I see the young man I remember from pictures. I see him scooping up the ball and throwing it on a rope to first base as I see Peter scoop up the ball and throw it with an arc to first base.
Peter is just starting his baseball playing days and my dad is well past his but I enjoy thinking that the plays Peter is making today are similar to the ones my dad used to make in his day. I am proud of them both and am glad that the memories I am making of Peter playing are mingling with the memories and imaginations I have of my dad playing baseball.
© 2007 Michael T. Miyoshi
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Published 05 June 2007 in The Monroe Monitor & Valley News
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