THE SANDLOT — There is a thing known as a "Little League legend." I am one of those.
What is a Little League legend you ask? Well, it's a kid who is so phenomenally good at the game of baseball when he's just a little dude that his name is spoken reverently on the hallowed grounds where he once played. It's the kid who hit home runs at will, could throw a blistering fastball for a strike when the other kids were just trying to get it from the pitcher's mound to the plate, and made the all-star team year after year. Every park had one and I'm throwing my humility by the wayside and letting you know I was my park's Little League legend. It also helped that I was the size of some full-grown men by the time I was 9, so it wasn't really fair, to be honest. True story, my parents had to bring my birth certificate to my games because other coaches didn't think I was really a child.
There is, however, a problem with Little League legends. We usually don't amount to anything once everyone else hits puberty and quickly catches up to us. I went from Little League legend to not even making the high school team. Not a great trajectory, but I hope that's not the case for this kid and especially I hope that for his dad.
This dad and son were at the diamond practicing some swings. This little dude steps up to the plate with more swagger in his little finger than I have in my whole out-of-shape body. The dad winds up and throws a strike and the kid slams it hard. His swing is on point and dad didn't just lob it in there; he put some mustard on that pitch. The son then watches the ball sail over the fence and then does a bat flip in a style that would make Barry Bonds jealous.
While watching this little slugger rip the cover off the ball is awesome, it's his dad who steals the show. This dude goes bonkers. He starts mimicking a kangaroo at one point and just bounces over and over. I think my favorite part is that he doesn't run to hug his son, but rather he lets the kid round the bases and touch home plate. Dad my be enthusiastic and proud, but he's also a stickler for the rules.
For real though, the kid crushed that ball and I can feel the pride beaming off that dude. So here's to you, little buddy, and the hope you're not the Little League legend I was, but have actual talent as opposed to my ogre-ish size. Looks like you're not me, though, and that's good news. And I think your dad is going to have many more ecstatic celebrations in the years to come.