Extra Innings & Birthday Traditions

I’m not much for watching baseball games on TV. I’m sure if I had a couple of kids playing in the game, it’d be a bit different. A lot of things aren’t so much about the thing itself as they are about who’s doing the thing. There are bunches of folks who spend a lot of time watching things they don’t much care about it but they care very much about the grandkids who are doing them. A lot of people wouldn’t spend a dime or the time to watch a youth soccer game but they’ll sure be there when little Joey or Jolee is playing. Same for Little League, Pint Size Softball and what-have-you.

My what-have-you doesn’t currently include any kids or grandkids playing for the Kansas City Royals but when your local team finally makes the playoffs after a generation or two, it changes things a bit. It changes them quite a bit if you’re a big baseball fan. And if there’s anything you would say about Randa’s daughter’s family, they are baseball fans!

I’d say they live it, breathe it, walk it, talk it and do it. Hunter and Gage have both played seriously since they left pre-school. Craig played then umpired for years and coaches; Christy keeps the official scorebook and does a dozen or a hundred other things that baseball moms do. She loads and hauls gear, coordinates refreshments, cleans uniforms and so forth. They’ve traveled thousands of miles to tournaments and the living room is lined with trophies.

So, when the Royals actually earned their way into the American League Wild Card game, there was no question what the Reeds were going to be doing on Tuesday evening; they were going to watch the Royals play the Oakland A’s.

Along with the main event of the evening, Christy also prepared a celebration supper for Hunter’s sixteenth birthday. Hunter had announced he wasn’t having candles on his cake since he was now grown. I told him there are some traditions you don’t ever get too old for or at least that I was sixty and I still blew out the candles on my cake. He may hate us all now but he did blow out the candles. However he felt about that little tradition, I know he liked how the game turned out.

The Royals took a 3-2 lead early in the game; Randa and I headed over to Menards and then home. By the time we got back to the game, the Royals were down 3-7. I didn’t have much hope for them but they rallied for three runs in the bottom of the eight inning and then tied the game in the bottom of the ninth. Having blown out way too many candles in my time, I opted for rest and recuperation instead of staying with the extra innings. I found out the next morning that those confounded Athletics had taken a lead in the top of the twelfth but the Royals managed to score two runs in the bottom of the inning.

The winning score came on a long grounder down the left field line by the catcher. He’d gone 0-for-5 on the night. It’s not an easy thing to keep believing in your capabilities when you keep failing, is it?

I think that just serves to remind us that if we never give up, never quit trying, never assume that this particular moment is the rest of our life, things just might work out better than we expected.

I hope Hunter remembers that for the next sixty years.

H. Arnett

About Doc Arnett

Native of southwestern Kentucky currently living in Ark City, Kansas, with my wife of twenty-nine years, Randa. We have, between us, eight children and twenty-eight grandkids. We enjoy singing, worship, remodeling and travel.
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