Best Time of the Year

BY JOE B. COATES, Publisher

Well,it’s that time of year again!  The weather was so cold during the first weekend of March that it could only mean one thing– somewhere in Copiah County little league baseball and softball leagues were having Fun Day activities . . .
Yes indeed it was cold in Wesson at the annual Fun Day at Hiram C. Newman Memorial Athletic Field last Saturday.  If I had to guess, I’d say about half of the over 400 children who had been registered to play summer ball attended the event, which allowed all those who came a chance to hit and field and throw and run and catch and have a great time.
Just like when myself and my fellow officiating crew members kickoff a football game in inclement weather, the cold air and biting wind were soon forgotten.  Children and coaches alike focused on this being the first chance of spring to hear the leather popping and the bats dinging.  Other leagues around the county will soon be having their own version of Fun Day, and perhaps, the weather will warm up by then.  
This time of year, beginning when I was about Grayson’s age, was the most important to me, my brother John and our friends.  Baseball and the like was our first love, our first taste of success–and of failure– in our little lives.  We were surrounded by coaches and other adults whose passion was to teach us not only the game, but also “sportsmanship and hustle”.  We learned what we had to do to win and that losing stung, at least for a little while.
Those few years we spent at the ballpark seemed to last forever, I guess because we loved it so much.  Thankfully, we had parents who knew what a great investment in our lives signing us up for little league baseball would be.  They were willing to go to every length to see that we were at every practice and every ballgame on time and ready to play.  Beyond that, Mom and Dad just loved to watch us play ball and experience it all with us.  And, they encouraged us to have a good time, win or lose.
That’s what I hope to see more of this season.

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