20 years difference
Hannah was born in 1997, I was born in 1977. I was almost 20 years old when she was born. I was still playing baseball in “semi” pro (more like amateur) leagues thinking I was good enough to play at some level. I wasn’t but my love for the game prevented me from seeing the reality of the situation.
When she was born I knew that she would be the left hander I always wished I’d been. She is. I cannot confirm nor deny we encouraged the use of her left hand. She started playing tee ball as soon as she was old enough to take the field. She seemed to really enjoy the other girls and I enjoyed seeing her play, coaching her, and taking care of her delicate little personality. She was a princess not necessarily a hands in the dirt tomboy. Being with other girls was important.
Along came #2
Hailey was born in 1999, days before the millennium, I was born in 1977. I was 22 when she was born. By the time she was two she was a natural left hander and would go outside and play with her sister and me, swinging a bat around, throwing as hard as she could, and begging to be able to play on the field with her sister.
She was not a princess. I mean she was my princess but she didn’t obsess over the Disney ones. She preferred shorts, mud, competing, and all sports. I don’t expect you to see what I now see, but here is a video of the 4 year old being allowed to play coach pitch softball at 4.
A baseball dad with softball daughters
We live in Southern California and it appeared at the time that it was the perfect place to have daughters who played softball. Now that they are in college (not playing) it seems even more so. So many of the girls they played with are still playing, across many different schools, and I’ve lost count. It was such a pleasure to work with and beside so many of them. Also, as Hannah and Hailey’s dad.
If I am being honest one of the best things was being able to take them to baseball games and not have to explain what was going on. They both have baseball IQs most guys would be jealous of and could 100% coach baseball if they chose to do so.
Today they called from school
Hannah and Hailey are at the same school together. They chose it that way. They are roommates, friends, playing on their own team. Today I received a phone call because they are playing coed softball. Hannah has told everyone that Hailey hits bombs, which may or may not be true in slowpitch. The youngest daughter took all of her softball stuff with her when she left, the oldest daughter had lost her glove and thus didn’t take one with her (as stated before, I am not left-handed, she couldn’t take one of mine). She asked if I could buy her a glove from a second hand store that was already broken in. I tried, but evidently no one else is left handed either. Instead I ordered her the same glove she had before and had it delivered to her apartment.
The thing that hit me after I got off the phone was how much fun we had playing the sport together. Where we chose to play a game (see the video above), and what it means to me to have been able to ask them if they wanted to throw with me. At least one of them always did and the other was always close behind. As much as we traveled, as much as they played, as good as the teams were that they played with, I will never forget homerun derby at the amphitheater outside of a Chili’s. I will never forget how hard I threw in the yard and how easy they always made it look. I loved having softball girls and I look forward to playing a little catch with them when they come home for the summer.