Do you ever wonder about the people that come into your life? The planned arrivals are usually predictable and basically surprise free for the most of us...but those unexpected pleasures that just sneak up on you and quietly make their appearance to you. So unassuming they are.
Times like that make me stop and wonder where the hidden camera is.
Who out there is setting me up....and why me.... why today?
I had the pleasure of coaching both Little League Softball for my daughter and Little League Baseball for my son for a total of about 9 years worth of fun and adventure. Some years way more memorable than others when the parents remembered.....IT, meaning the sport...the game was for the kids...not us parents.
I was always amazed at how many of the dads could drop the kids off for practice but never could make it early enough for helping out on the field prep for game days. They would always show up just as the first pitch was made....perfect timing that was.
There was one year that stands out for me. My assistant coach and I were handed the roster of our team and the league president mentioned something about one of our players was new to the league and put him on my team for obvious reasons.
I guess the reasons were many but mostly were simple because I was so good at what I did, had a good rapport with the parents, never created problems, and was one of the older managers in the league that could probably do really well with a new kid.
Hey, these kids were 5 and 6 years old...how tough could it be?
To my surprise, this new kid had a parent that was....how do I say this....well known in the area.
Not just in the area, but pretty much known across the country.....country music that is. The main concern for this situation was that both of the parents wished for the focus to be on their son, and not particularly on the well known parent.
Things worked out pretty well that year. We won a few games. Had the usual team parties during and after the season. Thought it was kinda neat to have a country music entertainer among the parents in the stands...who loved the fact he could come to the games and not get mobbed by the local fans for what he did and take the attention away from the son playing baseball.
During the capping ceremony where all the players are introduced to the entire league, Mark would make it a point to find us where we were lined up prior to the team introduction. Make some small talk with the coaches and then venture off to take advantage of the photo opportunity when his son received his team cap at home plate.
I was not able to acquire Mark's son the next year. The next years level included the draft system and I didn't get the boy on my team. I haggled with the coach for a trade, but he informed me that his wife loved the music that Mark played and was told to hold onto him for her.
Yeah right, he knew that boy was a player....trying to tell me his wife was a country music lover....do I look like I just fell off the turnip truck?
At next years capping ceremony....Mark looked me up on the field again...like friends do. We chatted and he was trying to stifle a laugh. I asked him what was up, and he just mentioned the extra 'T' in the last name on his sons jersey...and we both had a good laugh.
The team mom had mis-spelled the last name.... CHESTNUTT
Hey, stuff even happens on little league fields with big fans of country music stars.
My thanks to Mark Chesnutt for sharing some family time with us.
It is what it is......