Kids and sports
This is inspired by the heartbreaking post over at SFO Mom.
I taught for a year at a small Catholic school (200 students or so). It was the 98-99 school year and it was Cardinal Mooney Catholic in Marine City, to help you look up the details.
Our baseball team made the playoffs that year. The game was held at Tiger Stadium and we bussed the whole school to it. Honest.
On the team were two quite disparate young men, neither of whose names I remember. I didn't have either in class. One was being scouted by the pros, or at least so the rumor went. It was believable to me. I'll call him Joe.
The other was nowhere near Joe's ability. He had, however, survived a gruesome car crash somewhere in his junior year. It was bad enough, I was told by the athletic director, that at the scene "they had a sheet over him." I'll call him Ernie.
At the game, we were winning by a single run. I think. There was a one-run difference, anyway. It was the ninth inning (the last, anyway--do they play seven in high school?) and Joe's at bat. Ernie hadn't been in but...
The coach pulled Joe for Ernie to pinch-hit for him.
Where he got a single. Then Joe came in as a pinch runner for Ernie; the latter wasn't much of a runner. But Ernie got his at-bat, he got a hit, he played in the game.
To me, that epitomizes what amateur sports is all about.