Yesterday was the official “opening day” for the coach-pitch Oxford Angels. And what a fantastic opening day it was. It wasn’t opening day for the league, but it was opening day for us. While I’ve coached Brittany in fast pitch softball for 6 years, this was my first time to coach little league baseball. You’ll recall I first coached him a few months back in basketball…but this is the season I’ve been waiting for.
The first thing I’ll say about the Oxford Parks Commission…is that they seem to be incredibly unorganized. My team received their uniforms minutes before the game. I wanted to make sure it wasn’t just me and so asked the other coach…yep, his boys just got theirs as well. I’d emailed and called and still haven’t gotten the guy in charge to get back with me. An incredibly helpful receptionist/secretary finally took good care of me.
I was initially afraid they weren’t going to ask me to coach because I’ve still got that “new guy” syndrome going on. Several of the locals assured me, however, that there was always a need for coaches and felt sure that I’d be asked. But we signed Brett up to play back in February and I hadn’t heard anything at all until I received a call to coach in mid-April. I called my players immediately and thought we’d have about a month to practice. Started off, we didn’t even have a team name! They gave me a couple of balls…and I’m still waiting on a bat…on ONE single bat. Fortunately for us, several of the boys own a bat.
Then, I learn that our first game is May 5. We were lucky to get in three practices, but I would have liked to have gotten in about three more. I heard one coach say he’d gotten in six practices, another said they’d only gotten in one.
The boys are 7-8 year olds and about half of them are up from tee-ball for the very first time. A couple of them still want to stand on the plate when batting instead of beside it. They’re a pretty good group—so far I haven’t had any bad attitudes. J
This is also the very first league I’ve been in that doesn’t supply the coach with a shirt and hat as well. I guess I’ve been spoiled by the other leagues. Of all the “organized” leagues we’ve been in, Dixie Youth is probably the most organized and efficient. I had some issues with their football program over in Alabama, but I think my problems were more with the coaches: 22 boys and 5 coaches all working with the same 4 boys…leaving 18 other boys to stand around and do nothing. I just didn’t get it.
Several of the leagues even offer parents the opportunity to purchase “parent of” shirts. Makes good sense because several parents would want them…and it makes a little bit of money for the organization.
Yes, the Angels won their first game by beating the Dodgers by a score of 5-2. And there was much rejoicing and smiles on the boys’ faces…and that’s why I do this…