I love watching baseball and really enjoy catching some of the games when the Little League World Series is on television.
When I was growing up in Middletown, I played Little League baseball. But I played it horribly. My Dad tried to help me but I wasn’t a natural athlete.
I recall one practice where I stood at the plate and the coach tried to throw me batting practice so I would become a better hitter. I swung and missed pitch after pitch, getting more embarrassed with each miss. My coach was determined to let me swing until I hit one. Finally a foul ball was good enough to end my turn at bat — thankfully.
In the field I was a bit better, but for some reason they put me at shortstop even though I threw lefthanded. That didn’t work well. I do recall my one highlight of an entire career at that level. An opponent skied a popup that seemed to hang in the air forever. But when it came down, I caught it. My teammates were more amazed than happy but they congratulated me and I accepted it.
On Saturday, I received a note that there is a player with an Anderson connection going to Williamsport, Pa.
Blake Kirchenbauer is on the team from the South Nashville Little League. The team won the Southeast Region after losing the first game in that region and rallying to win the next four.
According to the note, which came from Blake’s grandfather, Harry, the youngster is about 4-foot-9, the smallest on the team. But he is a fine fielding second baseman.
Blake’s parents are Mark and Melissa, who are both from Anderson but now living in Brentwood, Tenn.
Blake’s team took a bus to Atlanta at 2 a.m. Saturday morning. Next was a 6 a.m. flight to Williamsport.
Harry is planning to go to the site to watch his grandson’s games. What a great experience that should be, win or lose.
The team will play on Thursday against an opponent to be determined from New England at 7 p.m. on ESPN2. The team will play a second game on Saturday if it loses on Thursday or a week from today if it wins.
I will be following the team with great anticipation as I have a rooting interest. Go get ‘em Blake.
Thanks much to Harry for passing along the information so I could share it with you.
Now, as my day unfolds, I get to see the Indianapolis Colts open preseason play this afternoon and then watch my Los Angeles Dodgers go for a sweep of the Tampa Rays at night. I am all set.
Sports Editor Rick Teverbaugh’s columns appear on Sundays and Thursdays.