Friday, December 7, 2012
Best of MPTLL #1 - Community Atmosphere
1. Community Atmosphere.
Whether you're at Randolph Park or Independence Park, MPTLL is a great place to spend a day at the fields. There's nothing quite like being at the ballpark on game day. It's a quiet and peaceful setting at the start of 9am batting practice, with perhaps a lingering chill in the air. The well-manicured fields surrounding the cages are untouched apart from the work of the grounds crew and coaches to prepare them for the day ahead. The ping of bats begins to wake up the park.
A buzz of energy quickly takes over, with a couple dozen kids on each field starting the day of games simultaneously, each player full of hope for a successful day on the diamond. The parents settle in on the sidelines or head over to the concession stand with little ones for an early treat. The grounds crew can rest and enjoy the fruits of their labor - watching kids play ball.
And it continues like this into the late afternoon. On a nice day, the kids don't want to leave after their games, so the park is most full of life at midday. They can bask in the glory of a big win, or congratulate others on a job well done. They may grab lunch at the concession stand or the Burger Shack and watch their friends play. By age 12, they know almost every other player so there's always a game to watch. Or there is surely a game to be invented behind the backstop, because of course someone has a tennis ball in his bag. The young ones can just find a good spot to dig in the dirt.
The parents and coaches are happy to stay too. It's much better than the yard work or errands awaiting them. Why not stay another hour and catch up with old and new friends?
I think Jake Wade, who has coached his Harry & Bryant team since 1957, summed up the Myers Park Trinity atmosphere best: "In our league, everybody wins. Everything is good and right, as it should be. One can leave the real world and go out there and get refreshed. There are no diversions for the kids, no distractions, no drinking, drugs, smoking or cursing... just baseball."
What else can you say? This is how we spend our Saturdays. It's nothing new to MPTLL. It has been this way for over 60 years, and it will continue into the future....