“In baseball as in life, all the most important things happen at home.” This quote is on the back of the fan shirts for the St. Paul Legion baseball team this summer. This quote is also one of my favorites because it relates two of my favorite things—my home and baseball.
1. My home (aka where my mom is)
For the past two weeks, I got to come home. I finished out my junior year of college (wait, wasn’t I just in high school….), thankfully successfully, and I came home for a few weeks.
I love where I go to college (the town, the atmosphere, and the people) but there’s nothing that compares to being at home. I live in a small town of about 2,000 and I love going anywhere in town and being able to talk to anyone. And no matter how far away I go or how long I stay away, this place will always be home. And like that quote says, the most important things in my life happen here. My baby brother was born here. I met my best friend here. I went to school here (preschool through 12th grade). I learned how to ride my bike here. I learned how to drive here. I learned how to love here. I learned how to be sad here and I certainly got mad a few times while I was here. In my 15 years in this house and town, my parents, and the town, taught me how to have emotions, how to act when everything is going in your favor, and how to act when everything is going wrong. This place is where I learned where true happiness comes from, and this place is where I felt true sorrow and pain. I learned about God and family while living here, so I learned all the important things in life at this home.
And now…later this afternoon, I’m leaving home again (basically for the summer). I’ll be teaching a church camp called Totus Tuus and will be traveling all summer (literally until August). Leaving home has never been easy for me (I already admitted to crying every time I leave for college), and it won’t be easier today, but I am excited for my second year for this amazing “camp.” (See future blog posts for more about Totus Tuus.)
2. Home plate (aka where all the action happens)
So, my second topic has to do with baseball. It’s pretty obvious why the most important parts of baseball happen at home plate. This is where all the scoring happens, it’s where the offense happens, it’s where every play in the game begins.
As a player, I played a lot of different positions, but my favorite was always catcher. I loved being right there in the action, being the wall behind the plate, and being able to see the whole field at any time. (I believe the best view of a ball diamond is through a catcher’s mask.)
On Sunday evening, I watched two Legion baseball games—a juniors’ game and a seniors’ game. During the games, my mom and I were talking about the position of catcher and how important it is to be humble when playing this spot. It is an honor and a privilege to be a catcher. It’s a lot of work and you will get blamed when something goes wrong, even when it’s not your fault. But in the catching position, you are in a position of leadership. You are the only one on the field who can see the entire field and all of your players at any time and you control a lot of the game atmosphere. In my years of playing and watching baseball and softball I’ve noticed that when the pitcher on any team gets down on him/herself, the entire team gets down on themselves. It is the catcher’s job to pick up the pitcher and encourage the pitcher. This means when you make a mistake, you’ve got to shake it off quicker than anyone else; when your pitcher makes a mistake, you are the one saying, that’s my bad, I’ll take that one, it’s on me; and when something goes wrong, you set an example of how you want the rest of your team to act.
Being a catcher is a huge responsibility and it should be played by someone who is willing to work and respect the game of baseball and the position of catcher.
“In baseball as in life, all the most important things happen at home.” “Home is where your heart is.” “Home is where your rump rests.” “Home is the starting place of love, hope, and dreams.”
No matter how you choose to describe it. Home is a pretty important place. Home is the place you learn all the important lessons in life, whether it’s at your physical home, or if it is at home plate. Home will always have a special place in my heart.