Wednesday, April 6, 2011

E is for Excitement

There's a little girl on Gavin's t-ball team named Corrina. She's a cute little chunky thing, heart of gold, and as sweet as apple pie. At first glance, you might be tempted to think that t-ball was an odd choice for her to play. She wasn't overly coordinated nor particularly fast or strong. Game after game, Corrina's concept of base running would be locked on the idea that she should run straight from third base to the bench, completely bypassing homeplate.

After all, she would eventually end up back at the bench. Why not take a shortcut?

Neither throwing, running, nor catching were her strong points. Running from base to base was slightly faster than a quick walk. Corrina's sweet smile and always sunny disposition won us over, even when she regularly didn't have a clue what was going on. We have good kids, good parents and good coaches on our team and Corrina was cheered and encouraged along with her teammates without an ounce of judgement.

After all, we do understand that the kids are out there to have fun. And with her constant smile, you could clearly see that Corrina was doing just that.

As the season progressed, Corrina's skills slowly improved. While she wouldn't be mistaken for one of the better players on the team, on-lookers no longer needed to stifle well-intentioned laughter each time she approached a play, tried to stop a ball, or attempted to hurl a throw in the general direction of someone waiting to catch it.

And then, in our second to last game, Corrina found herself manning second base. The batter hit a ground ball directly to her and Corrina bent down and scooped it up in her mitt. Someone, maybe everyone that supported our team, yelled, "Touch second base!" Corrina looked up toward the command, smiling her sweet smile, and hurried over to the base, pouncing proudly on the bag with both feet before the runner could reach it.

The runner was out.

Our side of the field exploded in applause.  Every single person jumped to their feet, roaring with the excited jubilation that is normally reserved for a play that wins the championship game just as time expires.

There was no single play that garnered more praise than Corrina fielding that ground ball and jumping on second base before the base runner could reach it. Parents were still talking about the out when we next gathered to cheer on our children. The deft fielding and accurate throws that Chris made as regular as clockwork were honored, then quickly forgotten. Aaron's homerun-worthy hits that soared far over the outfielders' heads would receive a few shouted words of praise before parents returned to their conversations on the sidelines. But Corrina's single play, the only play she had made the entire season, had us screaming with joy. It wasn't just her parents that cheered or her friends, but every single person that supported our team.

And Corrina? She just offered us her sweet, simple smile and returned to the game.

Corrina
I originally wrote this blog back on June 11, 2006.  It seemed like a good choice for the letter "E."

23 comments:

  1. This blog is wonderful and has me sitting with tears running down my face cheering for a little girl I have never met!! More people need to see the excitement in a child that truly lives life with such zest and love!!! Bravo on this one it is absolutely Brilliant!!

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  2. Lori and Toby: Thank you! Out of a season where we had some really great players (and my own son was pretty good) this moment is still what I remember the most. When we gathered for the next game, everyone was literally asking each other, "Were you at the last game? Did you see Corrina?" It was really neat to be a part of the moment. :)

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  3. It is always joy to see others exceed beyond our expectations. When they do, and we cheer them on, "explode" with excitement over their accomplishment, and shower them with praise; these are the love notes that will help them reach even bigger goals and continue to excell and reach for that distant star. Thanks for a great reminder:)

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  4. What a beautiful example of a tribe! :)

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  5. I read a story a long time ago about a hockey game between two teams of developmentally disabled players.

    The game was very close, right to the end, until a literally last second goal ended the game in a tie.

    Some of the specatators were disappointed... until they noticed one of the players skating up and down the ice, screaming at the top of his voice, "EVERYBODY WON! EVERYBODY WON!"

    We should all be so enlightened, eh?

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  6. Smashing post - I was there at the game and cheering as loud as you guys :-) Such are the sweet moments that make up life... beautifully told, too.
    All best
    Karla
    PS - Thank you for your comment on my blog. It meant a lot :-)

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  7. Spider: What's beautiful is that I heard the same story - and I've read about a half-dozen pieces of similar heart-warming events. This one immediately comes to mind...

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/news/story?id=5218228

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  8. Karla: You're very welcome. I'm truly enjoying my daily stops by your blog. Thank YOU so much for sharing your world. :)

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  9. A truly lovely story, Jeffrey - many thanks for sharing.
    http://paulamartinpotpourri.blogspot.com

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  10. Awesome. I love this because my kids are the Corrina of their teams and it is so great to hear that people were so FOR her.

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  11. It was nice to revisit this story and the joyful tears that appeared last time too. Thank you.

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  12. How sweet! <3 I have a kid like Corrina and he wants to play football this year. :D

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  13. That story was so sweet, reminds us what life and sports are really about.

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  14. Wonderful story. Thank you for sharing it--it's certainly a perfect example of Excitement. :)

    Fantastic break in the middle of my workday.

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  15. What a wonderful story! I wish that I could go back in time and enjoy my kids at that age again! Julie

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  16. I thinks its a GREAT post for E!

    stopping in from the A to Z to say hello
    http://baygirl32.blogspot.com/

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  17. Very cool story! If I had teammates like that as a kid I might have learned to like sports.

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  19. This post is beautiful. You must be so proud of Corrina.

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  20. Thank you everyone. And "Welcome" to all of the new faces. I think I'm "following" everyone here now. :)

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