Trey nervously informed me a couple nights ago about his decision. He thought I would be disappointed. He was right. I've spent the last few days trying to work him over to no avail. He is done.
I'm not disappointed because he's walking away, but rather because he's walking away when he still has so much to offer. Trey really is a baseball player that has all the tools. He can hit for power. He can hit for average. He can field his position. He has a good arm, and . . . man, that kid can run.
Since joining the Rams JV. Things have been a struggle. He had struggled putting all his tools together at the same time. He would have flashes, but it was becoming evident that his heart wasn't really in it. I think he made his decision long ago but didn't want to disappoint.
|Trey's first at bat ever for Hiner Dental.|
Baseball is a hard game. It looks easy. But to do it well it takes an extraordinary amount of focus. The line between being average and being great is so small, a player has to be absolutely 100% committed. A player cannot go out and contemplate if they really want to do this.
When Trey was little, I was hoping for a football player. I ended up with a baseball player. That was more than fine with me. Baseball is such a beautiful game. It's a team sport that mimics an individual sport. In football and basketball if a player is bigger, stronger, faster more times than not, they'll win the battle. Not so in baseball. It requires such a degree of mental toughness. A player has to be able to handle the immense amount of failure that comes with the game, be able to shake that off quickly, and be ready for the next test. Often in a matter of minutes. Baseball is the sport, to me, that best teaches real life lessons.
There's one game that will stay with me forever. It was Trey's 8th grade year. The Dodds Wildcats were playing in the regional semi-final against Enfield. I'm not saying this because he's my kid but because it's the truth: it was one of the greatest games I've ever seen any middle school kid have. He fielded balls in center, fielded balls in right, fielded balls in left. He was a one man outfield, 10 all totaled. He threw out a runner attempting to tag up at 3rd base from deep center. He was 3 for 4 at the plate. He hit a ball so hard off the school in left field that it one hopped back to the pitcher. If that school wouldn't of been there it may of still been going. To top it all off, he stole home. He really wanted that regional title and went all out to get it. Unfortunately, they lost the next game to Opdyke. Trey never seemed the same about baseball again.
|Playing for the JV Rams. He singled, stole |
second, and scored on a single with this AB
He continued to play on. There were many more big plays. Many more home runs. As he went forward, I could tell he was falling out of love with the game. His last hit came during his last home at bat in Jr Legion ball. It was a line drive in the gap in left-center. By the time the center fielder got to the ball, Trey was approaching 3rd (did I mention that kid could run). When he saw the 3rd base coach wave him in, he started to smile. The look on his face from 3rd to home wasn't of a kid who didn't love what he was doing at that moment. If that's the last hit, it's fitting that it was an inside the park home run. He's put plenty out, but I always enjoyed watching him run the bases the most.
I didn't want Trey to play sports because I thought he was going to be a St Louis Cardinal. I wanted him to play to learn life lessons. I wanted him to learn the value of hard work. I wanted him to know what it means to honor ones commitment. I wanted him to learn to be humble in victory and gracious in defeat. In the end he learned one that most of us learned from Kenny Rogers: know when to fold'em.
I'm disappointed because I'll never see him play again. I'll miss going to the field, just me and him, to hit some pitches. Those are some of my favorite memories . . . well, when he wasn't mad at me and i wasn't wanting to choke him Homer Simpson style! It truly has been a joy. If you see him out, pester him about a farewell tour. If I would of know it was coming, I probably would of appreciated those last few games a little more. However, let me say to my son one last time, well done kid.