Here we go…
- Our local little league had an essay contest, asking kids to describe: “How baseball has made you a better person.” The winner…Jack Nuckols. I will include his essay at the end. There was supposed to be an article in the paper, which I was going to post, but I guess it’s not getting in.
- Jack wrote our local paper and pitched the idea of writing an article about “The Future Phillies.” The local paper was in, so Jack wrote the Phillies – and we didn’t screw around. Jack wrote to 10 different people in the organization. The result? Next week Jack is going to interview backup catcher, Cameron Rupp. We’ve been working on research and questions. I will keep you posted as this happens. Very exciting.
- Alex also wrote the local paper and pitched an idea for rating top hikes in the area. The paper expressed interest here, so there will also be a lot of hiking over the course of this summer.
I think that’s it. Here is Jack’s essay. I swear to GOD, he wrote it. My contribution was to help him cut it down from 6 pages.
There is no “I” in team
By Jack Nuckols
In my mind, baseball is the best game ever. It is our national pastime, so Haddonfield, as a town in America, loves this sport. We love it so much that we have successfully run a little league for over 60 years. Baseball isn’t just a hobby, it teaches you lessons. One lesson we all see is that it takes a team to win.
No season taught me more about team than my 2014 Fall Ball season. All of our attention was on one thing: The Dawg Eat Dawg Tournament. It was the 2nd round and we were playing the best team in the league.
It started out terrible. By the end of the 3rd inning it was 14-2 and they were winning. We had our heads in our hands; some people were crying. But Coach wouldn’t give up. Now of all the things that Coach Bonawitz does, the most important things he teaches us is: Attitude and Effort. We had totally forgotten that – that’s when he reminded us. All that it took was a momentum shift. In the bottom of the 5th we scored 6 runs; it was 9-14. In the next half inning we shut down the other team. Now we had to score 5 runs. By the time I got up it was 11-14. I went and told myself that I wasn’t going to be the 2nd out.
The first pitch, I swung and missed. That was a bad mistake. I was in a hole and I had just swung at a ball. In my mind I told myself to wait on the next pitch. I needed a ball badly. It was a risk, though, and after that pitch I knew it was a big mistake. I was down in the count 0-2. I knew what was a stake here: the game and the season. My only instinct was to swing at everything.
I know one rule every coach says: protect the plate. That was what was on my mind. I didn’t care if it was 50 feet outside; I was making contact. The next pitch: Dink. Dink. Dink. I fouled the ball everywhere except for Hawaii. Dink. Another foul. Dink. Dink. Two more. Dink. Every single pitch was fouled off. The pitcher, who just 7 pitches ago was on top of the world, was now extremely frustrated. The next pitch he threw, I lined for a single and a run scored. It was 12-14 and I was happy that I wasn’t the goat. But I knew that this was a team sport and we wanted to win. A few batters later there were 2 outs and it was 13-14. I was on 3rd and there was a runner on 2nd. The first pitch, I heard a crack. The ball lined through the gap. I ran as if my life depended on it. I stopped and turned and a runner was rounding third. The only thing I could say, or yell for that matter, was: RUN! He scored and we won the game. I ran to the mob of people in front of me. As I jumped, I told myself I was jumping into one of baseball’s best examples of why “there is no I in team.”
Oh wait…you’re still here? Well then check out Alex doing a reverse on the diving board. Scares the crap out of me.