Summer Baseball in the Upper Valley: America’s pastime saves the day
One local mom recounts a game that reconnected her community and boosted spirits for young and old alike.
It was so great to have summer baseball back again. Who would have thought we would miss waking up at 6:00am on a Saturday, sweating at the baseball diamond all day, only to wake up and do it all again on Sunday? But a great group of kids pulled together a team we didn't think we would have this summer to pull of the game of their lifetime. It’s the story the Lebanon All-Star team will be telling at their 20-year reunion.
It was a hot day; the kids had been at the field for over eight hours and unfortunately two of their best players were unable to attend the game. We were down by one run, going into the bottom of 9th inning, which is three extra innings in little league. They had played so hard and were so tired, they were out of pitchers (little league has strict pitching rules), but they were cheering their hearts out for each kid that got up to bat and the parents were cheering even harder.
Through some hits and walks my son, Andrew, got up with bases loaded. The team needed him to score these runs. The team was running on empty and both kids after him had struck out all day. The energy was high with parents and players of the other teams joining in to see what everyone was cheering about. It was a huge crowd. Andrew immediately got 2 strikes and then fouled off the next few pitches. Finally, he hit the ball to right field, the right fielder tried to make a diving catch, but it was the perfect hit and both runners scored, winning the game on a walk-off.
They went on to lose the next game of the tournament, but that game, when they were down going into the last inning, never giving up and cheering their hearts out for every player, is what we missed during covid. The parents reconnecting and spending time together every weekend, even the early mornings or in New England, the cold evenings, we appreciated being together even more after the past year of not being able to sit together at games.