Bridging generations through baseball – Baltimore Sun

My father was often a mystery to me. Like most men of his generation, he lived in the void between what he felt and what he could say — except about baseball. Even the most inscrutable student of baseball reveals himself over time. When I played, my father was my quiet advocate, observing closely from a spectator’s distance and missing nothing.

To the untrained eye, baseball moves at a languid pace. But to the more discerning, it is a game of constant adjustment, endurance and focus. Mental discipline trumps raw skill. Some games have more action than others. There’s no clock. Innings build a game, games build a season, and seasons build a life. The accumulation of daily efforts matters most. You have to keep showing up. Once you have figured all this out, though, you may have lost a step. And you just might raise your hand to coach.

My dad is gone now, and my playing days are long over, but I am not yet out of the game. For a few hours each week, I steer a squad of 9- and 10-year-olds.

What began as hesitant volunteerism (hey, maybe I can do this) has become dedicated ritual and stream of advice: fingers up to catch the ball; stay down on grounders; bend your knees; trust your hands; swing hard; have confidence.

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