Sunday, January 07, 2007

Thoughts on 2006

OK, I'm back from my "winter meetings." Being that I am firstly (mostly) just a suburban mom, the holidays are kind of busy. But I have been thinking a lot about Little League lately, and especially about the ups and downs of 2006:

Top Five Little League Moments 2006, At Least For Me

#5: Watching the Murrayhill LL All-Star team go to Williamsport and capture the heart of the suburban Portland area as well as the nation. Even a seasoned newspaper columnist was won over by the moppy-haired boys from Beaverton. We watched this team up at Alpenrose field during the District 4 tournament and you could tell there was something special about them. No other team in our area benefited from the experience gained when LL changed the age cutoff to April 30. Several of their stars were so-called "double 12's" and their experience showed. Great job!

#4: Being featured on the eTeamz website for the 2006 LL World Series coverage and having the opportunity to highlight to a worldwide audience the great events, teams and volunteers of our wonderful area. I don't want to toot toot my own horn here, but there was something very cool about a national audience reading about...

#3: our local league's run to a State Championship! The SunCreek LL 9-10 baseball team won our first ever Oregon District 4 championship and then went to the eastern part of the state to capture the State banner also! SunCreek LL was the only non-Murrayhill team to come out of District 4 on the baseball side of things. And because I work at the neighborhood school, it was even more fun to see these kids and their families over the summer. What an exciting run for these was an honor to "cover them in my blog" and I was even more honored when they presented me with a baseball signed by the kids and coaches after the final game.

#2: Hanging with my dad at the LLSoftball World Series at Alpenrose Dairy, and watching as ESPN showed live coverage of the games from this beautiful facility. To think that we won our first and only Oregon District 4 Championship in SeniorLLSoftball on that same main field in 1980... I loved having my nieces up there, too. Since I don't have a daughter of my own, they are my only hope of seeing "family" up there playing in a tournament that we care so much about.

#1: Watching my son play, and husband coach, in the Oregon District 4 "Honors" tournament at Alpenrose, the sort-of JV tournament for kids not picked for the League All-Star teams. Of course, none of this would have happened if he hadn't worked so hard last spring to even make a majors team in SunCreek LL. If you could only see him as a first-year player in A ball when he was two years older than the other boys... He really took two years to grow into his body, and he is still growing. We played catch every day after school. We batted on the Hit-Away. Husband took him up to the schoolyard and they ran bases and did agility drills. He was finally drafted onto the Diamondbacks for his 12 year old year, and we met some of the best people EVER, who will be friends long after Little League.

I look forward to another upcoming spring and summer, following my son's team and the local boys and girls playing America's pastime, or some version of it.


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