Friday, March 13, 2009

Baseball in Hong Kong

Adam has long been a baseball fan, collecting baseball cards and picking different favorite teams by the season. He wore an Oakland A’s shirt from Uncle Matt almost exclusively for a year until switching rather sweetly to a Minnesota Twins shirt. He said he wanted to match with Royce but she never went along with it. We are really not sure where all this baseball mania comes from though I have a vague memory of watching an inning or two of a World Series game with Adam when the girls were in ballet. I think that was in 2006.

Hong Kong is not baseball wild like nearby Taiwan or Japan but it does field a number of school teams. This year Adam was five and finally old enough to get out on the field with his school’s kindergarten team. (Royce, of course, was old enough too but showed less than zero interest). Adam showed up with a mitt, picked up a red Cardinals shirt and hat and promptly started his career as a slugger.

Adam’s team did drills with very kind fathers and one mother for awhile and then ended with a few turns at bat. The kids tried to hit off the pitch two times and if they did not, they went to hitting off the tee. Much to our surprise, Adam always hit the ball. He always knew where to run. And he mostly knew where to throw the ball. The first time he told me he hit a home run I thought he was joking. And then I started really watching. We are not sure how much skill versus luck is involved so far but it probably doesn’t hurt that he is a good head taller than the rest of the team.

The whole baseball experience was really wonderful for Adam and for our whole family. Our school has a beautiful new field at the high school where they held the Saturday morning practices and this made the experience work for us all. The girls would bring their bikes to ride around the track and would then just run and play in the rare open space of the field. Tori even found a tree or two to climb. The Boosters Club had a little coffee going and a BBQ by the end of practice. Though I have held off until now on having any of our kids do a weekend activity, I now see the allure. An outdoor start to the day with everyone you know. It was a little hard to go back into the hot stuffy and loud indoor pool for Tori’s swim practice. But, of course, we are back to the pool and with only a few glances out the window to the baseball field, thinking of next season already.