One of my favorite movies of all time is A League of Their Own. It’s one of my favorites because I love the game of baseball, it’s an uplifting story of women breaking the barriers that would traditionally define them at that time, there is an interesting dynamic between competitive siblings and….well, let’s face it. Even as crotch-scratching, spitting, pissing-in-front-of-the-gals sot Jimmy Dugan, Tom Hanks is still lovable.
The best quote of the movie isn’t the one everyone remembers — “There’s no crying in baseball”. For me, every time Jimmy Dugan says the line “By the way, I loved you in the Wizard of Oz”, I can not stop myself from laughing hysterically. Lovable (and funny) sot, indeed.
Last Saturday, my husband and I took the boys to see the Keys. It was a perfect summer evening of baseball –
the kids were able to run the bases after the game
and the fireworks were great!
In the first inning a foul ball was hit in our direction. Since it was early in the game, the seats hadn’t filled up yet. As I watched – almost in slow motion – I saw the ball making its way to….wait. No. Really? Was it headed toward my son Alex’s glove?
It most certainly was. He was pretty sure-handed on his little league All Star team and this was certainly an All Star moment. The ball landed right in his glove. Then in the excitement and thrill of the moment, it bounced out, rolled down to the next row, and the kid in front of him got it.
I watched as Alex sank back into his seat. Around him the fans groaned, as they do when anyone drops a foul ball. Alex’s facial expression went from excited to sad in a mere nanosecond. He had tears welling up in his eyes. His bottom lip was trembling as he bit down on it to keep himself from losing control of his 9-year old emotions. He was living the quote “There’s no crying in baseball”. Everyone around us told him it was a great try and let him know it was a hard catch for anyone to make, but he was focused on not letting anyone know how much it hurt to be 9 years old, have a foul ball hit your glove, only to pop out and end up with someone else.
The mom of the kid who ended up with the ball told her son to give it to Alex, since Alex had it in his glove but dropped it. And without any complaining, crying or objection, the boy handed the ball back to my son.
In the end, there were no kids crying in baseball. But I can’t say the same for Alex’s mom.