Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Why anyone could view sweaty, bed-wettin’, little boys as sex objects is beyond me, but those people are around. I’m sure there are no more today than there have been, but we are more alert to the threat today. There are always childless men hanging around Little League activities. They can adopt the guise of “regular guys,” but I was always suspicious. It doesn’t hurt to be suspicious.

A marine captain came to one of our games as a volunteer umpire. His first question to me was, “Are your players wearing athletic cups?”

Without missing a beat I replied, “Of course.”

Now I had no idea if even one was wearing a cup and seriously doubted if even one was. (It’s in the LL rule book that they must wear cups.) But what was I supposed to say? Was I supposed to tell him I didn’t know and let him do his own examination? I couldn’t have cared less if they had cups. That’s just a CYA thing for LL anyway. The only time I wore a cup when I played was when I was catching.

I didn’t manage again.

My kid as an 8-year-old showed no promise whatever. That didn’t bother me, he was a good kid. What more could you ask?

Then I saw him run in the outfield as a 9-year-old. What a change a year can make. Have you ever watched the graceful, swift movements of a natural athlete? Well that’s what I saw.

To make a long story short, after he graduated from college (the first in my family) I sent him 30 pounds of press clippings I had collected about him.

Needless to say I was proud. He had experiences in sports that I dreamed of for myself but never came close to achieving.

And then there’s that weird assimilation thing. The irony is that he assimilated much better than I. He’s married to a beautiful lady from the Midwest and lives in the Midwest with her and their three kids. Here I am in Thailand with a large, extended Thai family.

Go figure.


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