It seems like only yesterday, when my little boy, Jake began baseball. He was 4 years old, when we made our way to the Sportspark to register him for Pleasanton American Little League. I’m really not sure which of us were more excited to see Jake start….him or his parents!!
Jake loved baseball as soon as he could hold a baseball, and daddy had already ‘invested’ in a glove and ball by the time he was 2. There was nowhere for Ron to take Jake to learn the game early, although he would have if there was a quality place to go back then.
When t-ball began, we couldn’t wait for the games, so we could watch him hit the ball off of the tee, and run the bases! Good times! Great memories!
Fast forward 11 years…Jake is now 15, and a very talented baseball player! Not only does he love to play, but he loves to help kids learn to play. So, Jake was pretty excited when he got a call from The Pitching Center of Pleasanton, asking if he would like to help train for their new Lil’ Baseball program. The Lil’ Baseball program is a pretty new concept that they are offering at both the TPC of Pleasanton and the Cabernet of Livermore.
I volunteered to take Jake to TPC on Saturday morning for his first day of working with the kids. The baseball facility is so comfortable and clean. As I was walking around the place, I found a baseball mounted, that Jake had been asked to share with the The Pitching Center. It was from a game he pitched (a non-hitter) when he was 11. It was a BIG deal for Jake back then to be on the Wall, and it still is. Jake also attends TPC for pitching lessons, and has benefited tremendously from their instruction over the years.
I watched as Coach Eric hung up an American flag, and the kids stood in a line, hands over their hearts. The parents joined in, and the National Anthem begun to play. The kids were mysteriously quiet as they stood there, listening. Then as soon as the anthem was finished, they all yelled “Play Ball!”
The kids played all types of games, each one with a specific goal of teaching hitting, throwing, running bases…and most of all teamwork. You could really tell that they were all having a ball, and so was Jake and the other instructors. I had to smile… I saw my 4 year old little boy in those kids. I witnessed the love that my son has for kids, and I appreciated the love that these coaches have for the game and for the kids.
The owners at TPC are professionals, and you can feel their passion for the game in all they do….from their red, white & blue logo, to the National Anthem before class, to the fact that they announce the little kids names when they walk up to the plate to bat!! It is so cute to see these kids learn this great All-American sport in such a fun way!
If you have a little ‘Jake’, better head down to Lil’ Baseball. You will make memories that will last forever!!