Well, this is probably a post that’s more for me than anyone else. I want to have all of my baseball memories in one spot!
Hayden headed into this spring baseball season with some hesitation. I think he was worried about juggling both track and baseball. I will say there weren’t any other kids on the middle school track team who played baseball. We got “lucky” with the schedule as he only missed one baseball game for a track meet, but it was a lot to juggle.
I did encourage him to finish up baseball with his 12-year-old season because I knew he’d have fun with his team, be a leader for the younger kids, and, honestly, I knew he still had some baseball left in him.
As the kids have gotten older, of course they’ve had to make decisions and start cutting out sports or activities because we can’t do all the things all the time! Hadley did gymnastics for a couple of years and stopped with Girl Scouts once she got to middle school while Hayden played soccer off and on for a few years. Hayden has really found his groove with running, and I think that will be a focus for him moving forward.
Baseball is the one sport that stuck with Hayden…for the past nine years.
Like many sports, baseball was an outlet for Hayden to temper his anxiety and shyness.
Like most things in life, Hayden started baseball with his sister by his side and some of his best baseball memories include Trav as his coach.
I will never forget seeing him on the pitcher’s mound for the first time. I texted Trav and said, “What (the heck) is he doing out there?” Trav said, “He wanted to try give it a try.” As an introvert on the mound, he blossomed with confidence after hearing, “Strikkkkeee!” for the first time.
From digging in the dirt to striking out batters…From t-ball to the Majors…From losses to wins and all the memories in between…Hayden has accomplished so much and made us very proud.
While he accomplished so much on the field, our hearts swelled with pride when he was given the Sportsmanship award last fall. I’m not entirely sure what goes on in a baseball dugout, but I love hearing him cheer for his teammates and give tips to the younger players.
Through the years…
…from the Mud Hens…
…to the Timber Rattlers…
…to the Twins…(how fitting!)
….to the Mariners…
…to Turkey Feet…
…and Crush in the summer…
…to the Reds as an 11 and…
…12 year old…
Hayden has had quite the baseball “career.”
The last game:
Honestly, I’ve been a bit emotional this season…not necessarily tears, but just more about savoring each baseball moment. Every at bat, every play at first, and every pitch meant something a little bit more this season.
We snapped a photo before his end of season tournament game because you just never know when the last game will be.
Hayden played first which is where you’d usually find him if he wasn’t pitching this season.
He had a couple of great hits to do what he could for his team.
Ultimately, they lost, so Saturday was the end of the season. And…we were all ok! While a win would have been nice, it just wasn’t in the cards for the Reds that day.
A few fave photos through the years…
During one of Hayden’s coach pitch seasons, the Twins won the end of the season tournament.
Lots of memories with Hadley playing on the same team, digging in the dirt, Trav coaching third base, and post-season awards.
This is one of my favorite baseball photos that my talented brother-in-law snapped after a game when Hayden was 8 (I think!)
So many at bats, so many strike outs while pitching, and so much advice from Trav through the years…
Quite a few stolen bases too!
He played through many hot summer games and usually had a smile on his face. Those games provided additional memories for us as a family, more laundry for me, and a few rings and trophies for Hayden.
It’s been an honor to watch him grow, mature, and flourish on the field.
Hayden…We are proud of you. We’ll always be your biggest fans. No one supports you like your dad or loves you like your mom.
It’s been quite the ride, and there’s nothing better than seeing your kids have fun, learn life lessons, make choices, and grow into who they are supposed to be.
If you need me, you can find me clapping for Hadley after her upcoming recital and cheering for Hayden as he runs track, cross country, and up and down the court for basketball.
See you back here tomorrow for Friday Favorites.