Thursday, April 26, 2012

A great night for baseball at Incarnate Word

Before I get into telling you about the Brigade's Wednesday night visit to a second grade baseball matchup between Incarnate Word and Twin Oaks, I have have to tell you about Carl. Who is Carl? Well, Carl is a cute, fun, energetic and playful two-year-old. We had almost as much fun watching Carl's parents and siblings chase him around the field as we did the game. He ran them ragged, but no one got upset. Whenever he got caught, Carl would just giggle and smile. Who can get mad at a smiling, giggling two-year-old?

Here's where I come in. During one of Carl's all-out sprints, he notices me, stops literally on a dime and says, "Daddy?!" This becomes both a tense and hilarious moment because I am the only African-American adult in the park and Carl is the only African-American child in the park. Carl was recently adopted and his parents are not African-American. His mom sat him next to me and we talked for awhile before he took off again. Adoptive parents are great people. No matter how much love and attention they give, they always have to contend with the natural parents who aren't there for whatever reason. They are special people indeed. Anyway, on with our story.

When I was in second grade, I fielded more ground balls with my face than my glove. That's not the case with Jack and Christopher of Twin Oaks. These two are great with the glove and their defense was a key component of Twin Oaks' victory. However, they are better teammates than they are players. In second grade, the kids change positions every inning and some kids sit out an inning or two based on the number of players. When it was Jack and Christopher's turn to sub, they didn't just sit on the bench and chew sunflower seeds. The two were cheering, rattling the fence and literally jumping up and down for their Twin Oaks teammates.

They really wanted their teammates to do well. It's not unusual for the Brigade to see teammates cheer for one another. On the other hand, it is rather unusual to see that type of attitude from star players on any level. The Twin Oaks coaches and parents are teaching these boys to be a team and it shows. So, the Brigade decided to recognize both Jack and Christopher for their efforts and proving that good sportsmanship does come in pairs.
From L-R: Jack, Big Sol and Christopher

The Sportsmanship Brigade is a group of Sports Commission volunteers who attend youth sporting events looking for acts of good sportsmanship. Athletes, coaches, parents and fans who exhibit good sportsmanship are rewarded with a certificate of recognition and a gift card to a local business. For more on the Brigade, including scheduling and volunteering information, please visit sportsmanship.org or call 314-345-5130. Until next time...

Be a Good Sport!

-Sol