Category Archives: Baseball

Open Letter to My College Bound Son

Where do I begin? I have loved you your whole life and will continue to do so til my last breath. You have been so fun to have in our household. Your quick witted sense of humor, even dumb humor at times, always made me giggle. As an infant into adulthood, your easy going personality along with your permanent smile made parenting you so easy.

As you prepare for college there is so much advice I need to dole out to you. Murphy’s Law is for you to rebuff my advice as annoying or try to blow me off so I feel the best approach is through a letter. As I did with your sister, I will put this in an envelope and pack it up with your belongings as you move into your college dorm. When you long for a piece of home, or need that comfort of a mom’s love, you can read this letter. Know my heart is always with you.

Well, I must admit on your last day of school, I couldn’t stop crying. I wasn’t quite sure what I was crying about but it wouldn’t stop. Then it hit me. I’m crying because for the first time, I will not be physically by your side to problem solve with you or jump to your rescue. Letting go of you is way harder than I anticipated.

There a thousand things I love about you. I love the way you take life a day at a time and you never really sweat things. I love your fierce loyalty, honesty and humbleness. People gravitate toward you for a reason. You are warm, welcoming, accepting, compassionate, and genuine.

When you wake up in your dorm room for the first time sans your family, there are things you should be reminded of to keep you grounded. You now share a room with someone. Keep it clean! Be considerate of your roommate by picking up after yourself. After long days of classes and nights out, no one should have to walk through a mind field of dirty clothes or garbage, including you. That’s your first order of business!

For the love of God, set your alarm. I won’t be there to gently wake you up every morning ensuring you get to class on time. Make sure your alarm is set ALWAYS. You are now paying for college. Make sure you get to your classes as it’s on your dime now. Don’t hit snooze and say, I’ll just miss today. Nope, the more you miss, the more you have the potential to fall behind. Even on the coldest of days where you don’t want to go outside, get to class. Even on days that you may be hungover, get to class. Even on days you have a cold, get to class. Your sole job in life right now is to get to class, study, get good grades and PASS!

The time has come. Laundry time! Yup, don’t wait til your down to your last pair of underwear or shorts. Figure out a schedule and do laundry weekly. Knowing you, you might even skip the underwear just not to do laundry but suck it up buttercup. Laundry needs to be done and you’re just the guy to do it. Here’s the second piece to this puzzle. FOLD YOUR CLOTHES! Since I know you won’t be ironing and looking good is a priority, wrinkled clothes won’t work for you. Fold your clothes and put them away, just not in a pile on your desk or in a corner of the room.

You successfully completed high school and somehow with doing minimal homework. That comes to a halt immediately. There is no more skimming by. Your smarts alone won’t get you through college. Homework needs to be done and papers need to be written. Being a minimalist will be a detriment to you in college. Work up to your fullest ability proving to your professors that you are up to the task of college work. If you have an exam, STUDY FOR IT! Skip the night out with friends or a frat and choose school work over partying each and every time. There will always be another party or another gathering. That exam, well, there will NOT be another time. That exam counts toward your GPA.

Priorities, priorities, priorities! You are now living on your own for the first time. No one there to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do. You are solely responsible for every decision you make and will deal with the consequences of those decisions both good or bad. Make smart choices. Parties and socialization are definitely the fun part of college but never forget you are there to earn a college degree. Academics are the priority. The end.

You’ve been a relationship for all of your high school life. Perhaps this relationship with continue in college and maybe it won’t. Decide what is good for you and what feels right. That relationship shouldn’t feel burdensome at any time. Your gut will tell you if and when you need to end it. Know it will be a lot of work to continue a relationship with you both being in separate colleges. I don’t want you to ever feel like you are missing out on something because you are bogged down by a long distance relationship. Keep in mind you will be exposed to many new people and people with different experiences. Be open to them and don’t pigeon hole yourself in a corner because you have a girlfriend. I’m not saying to cheat on her. Don’t ever do that! But every once in a while, take a step back and decide if it’s what you want. At this point in your life, it IS all about you.

For arguments sake and just to cover this topic, let’s say you end up single at some point in college. Be the guy that opens the door for a girl. Be the guy that isn’t a douche. Treat each girl respectfully. Don’t ever make them question where they stand with you. Be clear. Be kind but direct. Girls are emotional by nature and last thing you want is to have a girl cry over you. Be a gentlemen at all times and ALWAYS do the right thing by a female. Remember…if a girl says no, it’s no. Walk that girl to her dorm. If you are out at a bar with the a girl, make sure she gets home safe. Be the guy that every girl wants to bring home to mom.

At this point in your life, you may be unclear as to what career path you want to pursue and that’s ok. This is the time to figure things out. Explore everything! Take classes that interest you. You are going to spend your entire life working, make sure you choose a career you love. If you choose one major and decide it doesn’t interest you, now is the time to make that change. Figure out who you are and what you want out of life. I will be here to support your decisions and bounce things off of. There are tons of resources at school. Tap into them. Speak to your advisors and professors. They are your best educational resource. These people and these programs at school are here to serve you. Don’t be shy, step up and ask.

I’m excited for you to be attending a big sports college. Go to games. Enjoy everything that is at your fingertips. Cheer on your teams and have school pride. If feels good to be part of something. You are an enormously talented athlete and excel in all you do. You ARE good enough to play college baseball at Cortland. Should you change your mind, go to “walk-ons” and try out for the team. You will meet guys just like you that love to play ball and are the best. They will push you to do better and there is a brotherhood with baseball players you can’t find anywhere else. They become family for life. Think about that. If you choose not to play, it’s ok but stay active. Have pick-up basketball or football games with friends. Play softball or wiffle ball. Join the club teams. You are an athlete. Continue to be one!

Call your mother! Your life will be busy with school work, parties and friends. It is easy to get caught up in college life but remember there’s one person waiting to hear all about. She’s waiting to celebrate your successes, offer advice or just listen as needed. ME!! I want to hear all about your life as I won’t be there to see things first hand any longer. Know that you can call or text me at any time. I will always be here for you. I will be at Cortland in the blink of an eye should you ever need me. I’m only a phone call away.

Lastly and most importantly, be a good person. Be kind to everyone around you, student’s, staff and strangers. Befriend someone that might seem like an outsider. You never know how your actions or words can impact a person. If you see injustice at any point, I want you to stand up and speak up. If you see someone being bullied or treated like crap, you be that person to stop it. Do not be a bystander in life. You are an amazing kid and have always taken on the role of a leader. Continue to do that. Be someone that others look up to. Use that attribute for good…always.

Know that although you are at college, this is always your home. You are always welcomed here at any time. That no matter where your travels or life journey may take you, we welcome you home with open arms always. We are your comfort zone. We are the ones who will ALWAYS have your back no matter the circumstance. We are the ones who love you unconditionally. We are fiercely loyal to you and love you so much.

I wish you nothing but success, health and happiness in the next chapter of your life. You have always made us proud and I know you will continue that. You are the light of my life.

Love,
Mom xox

Why Do Some Baseball Parents Have To Be Assholes?

I love baseball. It is not only America’s favorite pass time but mine as well. I love everything about this sport. I’ve heard some (unreasonable) people say that baseball is boring. I don’t get it. It’s a game filled with anticipation. I wonder what will the pitcher throw, a ball or a strike. Will the batter swing? Will the defense react in time to catch the ball? Lastly, will the ump make a good call?

Much to my delight, my oldest boy plays baseball and, dare I say, he’s pretty decent. Baseball combined with one of the loves of my life translates into a pretty happy momma. Watching him play ball is my favorite thing in the world to do.

Naturally, attending his games has exposed me to all kinds of parents. Here’s the thing. Why do some baseball parents have to be assholes?

I’m a true believer in encouraging a kid or a team, positive reinforcement. It was only two games ago when I had to listen to an opponent parent scream “drop it” or “strike him out”. Of course, this made me want to gorge his eyeballs out. I thought everyone read the parent rulebook that says, lead by example and you’re kids are likely to follow in your footsteps. Clearly some folks missed that chapter.

To my delight, this parent was ejected from the game the very next inning for yelling at the ump for what he perceived was a “bad” call. The guy was a Mensa genius because a scout was there for his kid. While his kid made a few errors (all kids do..WAKE UP!), I’m sure the scout walked away with a sense of what comes with that kid to college. A troublesome parent. I imagine, it is every coach’s nightmare. Ball players are a dime a dozen. Dump the kid with the loudmouth parent, and go back to the litter.

Kids are never the problem neither in baseball nor in sports in general. It’s the lunatic parents that accompany them and they ruin it for their child. Mr. Douchebag’s kid actually hit an amazing grand slam the following game but I refused to give him the satisfaction of a compliment. The kid certainly deserved accolades for a beautiful shot to center field but the parent was a gloating jerk.

At a recent game, the opposing team’s catcher got ejected from the game. It was crass weather conditions and he was trying to delay the game which was duly noted by the officials. Low and behold, the catcher (probably standing 6’2”) then went after the umpires. Here’s the question. Where were his parents? I would have ripped my kid off the field then had him apologize to EVERYONE. Nope. The parent watched the events unfold from the sidelines and only after the fact, walked away with him. For God’s sake!

I try to make a point of congratulating a parent when their son does well. That’s pretty much come to a halt with some people. If I say “great job”, I don’t then need you to rattle off your son’s stats. ANNOYING! Just absorb the compliment and relish in it. Don’t become a bragging douchebag. Or if I say, “which one is your son?“, I don’t need to hear “starting opening day pitcher” or “he’s a starter”. Please just shut the fuck up and say my kid is on the mound or my kid is in center. Geez!

I’ve been on teams where the parents on the SAME team were talking shit about other teammates kids, in front of the other parents no less. Seriously, how can anyone think that is okay? That leads to a lot of hurt feelings. Idiots!

It’s baseball. It’s a game. Chill the fuck out! You don’t have to scream at plays. Remember, when you act like an asshole, you ruin the game for the people exposed to your bad behavior. If we allow ourselves to be realistic, chances are, your child won’t be playing pro-ball. Be happy your kid has playing time, sit back and enjoy.

Maybe I should comprise a book on parent baseball etiquette. It seems like common sense, but it’s apparent that some are lacking that sense. Be a gracious parent, thanking those paying your child a compliment. Just watch the game, cheering on your kid and his team. No one wants to hear your bullshit, least of all me!