when i was 12 and playing little league softball, moving up to seniors was just a difference of age. the people i would be facing were playing high school softball, the pitching was faster and playing infield was faster and more demanding. and the opportunity to play in the world series was that much closer. i was super excited and ready for the challenge, i had one year of varsity under my belt as it was. the one thing that never changed was the size of the field.
nick just finished his little league career, the less than stellar performance of the all star team cut the season a bit short. it came down to a three way tie between his team and two others, one of which they lost to in a game they really should not have lost. but his team was full of characters who decided when and where they wanted to play, the game they lost, well i guess you could say they decided not to play that day. so now we are faced with “the big field.” babe ruth, or whatever league is available for 13 year olds will now play on a field the same size they play on in the majors. its huge compared to what they are used. 90 feet is a long way to run, not to mention throw. 380 feet to center field is an unbelievable distance for someone who is used to just 250 feet. unfathomable to think about being able to clear that fence to someone who is a little over five feet tall and has not quite hit puberty yet (a little side note, his voice is starting to change…) so far though, he is taking it all in stride. we had him on the mound and the extra distance actually helps his curve ball, 12 to 2! very impressive. it will take a lot of hard work, but i know he can do it and i certainly hope he will not look at 380 feet and think he could never do that and just give up, because that would just really suck.
i guess one advantage is that everyone in his league will be trying to overcome the same things. except for maybe the giant nick had on his team this year who was frekishly tall for 12 years old, but such a teddy bear. but holy crow the field makes them look so small.