At last night’s local Elks baseball game, I watched a pop foul fly into the stands behind home plate. There, two boys – one older, maybe 13 or 14, and the other much younger – scrambled after the ball. The older kid won the race, proudly holding up his prize. As the victor turned to rejoin his seatmates with a spring in his step, the younger boy walked slowly back towards his parents, head down, dejected. A baseball glove in his hand, empty.
I saw then that the older boy had also noticed his vanquished rival, the way he walked, the disappointment. Older boy, who had already sat and displayed the ball to his friends, got up and trotted down to where the younger kid sat – and gave him the ball.
Small town baseball, an American tradition. We have season tickets and go to most games. The play on the field is not always stellar but it’s real. Off the field, in the stands? Well, sometimes you’ll see things there, too. Small things, but no less real.