Earlier this week a man walking down the street announced, “If it snows, I quit.” What he would quit was not entirely clear, but his sentiment was written all over his body — hands tucked deeply into his pockets, jacket collar turned up and a thick hat pulled down on his head. The man was not happy with how spring was progressing here on the Island.
But not far away, on that very same day, a large group of kids was jumping for joy. Little League games started this week and the crack of the bat was like a portable heater. After all, who really needs sun when the base path is clear, the ball bouncing its way to center field and the crowd screaming, “Go, go, go!”
Some kids wore their new uniforms to school this week, while others wore them to bed — a mitt does make for a nice pillow. And on Tuesday there was once again the iconic sight of a little boy or girl, barely taller than a picket fence, standing alone on the pitcher’s mound, the fate of the team hanging heavy on some very small shoulders.
Baseball is unique among sports. To stand alone at the mound, home plate or in the field while people in the stands roar advice and encouragement (hopefully), is to see life from a new perspective for these kids. The world may still appear to revolve around them, but now it is also filled with bad bounces, fastballs and curveballs, too. The walk back to the bench after a strikeout is always a long one, but the race to home plate from third base is done with wings.
If you look closely, you can almost see the kids grow a little taller, inning by magical inning.
On Saturday, opening day ceremonies begin at ten in the morning with a parade down Circuit avenue in Oak Bluffs and continuing on to Viera Park. Games begin at noon.