We spent this past weekend at the ballpark at a tournament. The team Sam's on won 2nd place, which was excellent! The 1st place team is like a class A, and we're more along the class B or C scale, so losing to them wasn't a hardship. By taking 2nd place, we whomped our true opponents, that is, the other 3 teams from nearby (and also rural) schools. The boys on our team played some really great ball, and it was fun to watch. Our boys also have great attitudes; they have a great coach, and he insists on it. At the end of the game that put us in the running for 2nd place, our boys and the coaches stood in that "hands in the center" sports circle and hollered "good game St. Louis!" to the other team while throwing their hands up high. The St. Louis team was also in a circle, and their coach was giving them a pep talk... having lost, they weren't all that fired up. Then they realized what they just saw and what they heard our team holler, and they all waved and hollered back "thanks." Good stuff.
The team we had to beat to take 2nd place wasn't so gracious. It's a school that's well known to take baseball very, very seriously, and the ball players (and the parents) are often a bunch of smartasses. Since they usually win, it's kinda difficult to bring them down the notch or 2 they deserve. So when our boys won that game Sunday morning, it felt real good. In fact, it felt so good that the loss of 16-1, with a mercy in the 4th inning, to the 1st place team wasn't all that important nor was it a downer. We put on a good show and the boys tried their best, but I think that pretty much everyone there knew which team was going to win 1st place. That team is from a large-ish city with a huge population from which to assemble their all-star team. If they didn't kick our butts, it'd be the surprise of the decade. They won every game they played at this weekend's tournament. (Frankly, I was puzzled by their attendance... all the other teams were on the level of ours, i.e., class B or C... so when they swept the tourney, no one was surprised, least of all, themselves. In fact, their confidence was truly remarkable. But then, excess in anything can be a remarkable thing to behold.)
The tournament started Friday evening and went through Sunday early afternoon. It was such a hot and humid weekend! The "RealFeel" temperature was in the high 90's. Ugh!!! Sunday morning at 6:35 am, I stepped out onto our front porch and it was already getting hot outside. Jeez. Sitting in the stands on Saturday, I could feel rivulets of sweat down my front and back. Lots of umbrellas out to try and combat the harsh sun. My daughter and I still got sunburned a little bit, umbrellas, sunscreen and all. It was a sorcher. Didn't seem to bother the boys too much. Oh, to be 10 years old and wearing a baseball uniform on a hot Summer day!