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The days are getting shorter, but there are lights on the field! Tonight Adam is catching…

Adam Catches

There aren’t many balls that get past him, which says a lot given these fist-time little league pitchers. The balls are just as likely to go wild as they are to go across the plate.

Adam Catches Adam Catches

He’s a leader when he’s behind the plate…

Adam Catches

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Today Adam got a real treat! We were at the batting cages for some practice and he got some lessons from from Oakland A’s (minor league) third baseman A.J. Kubala. A.J. is a local boy and he gives back to his community by working with Little Leaguers on their fundamentals. Adam was grinning from ear-to-ear the whole time!

Thanks, A.J.! What a blast!

Batting with A.J. Kubala
Batting with A.J. Kubala
Batting with A.J. Kubala
Batting with A.J. Kubala

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There’s no rain today and Adam’s ready to PLAY BALL!

Batter Up

It was a great game and Adam got his first hit on his first time at bat in “kid pitch” baseball. He also stole his first base and was quite pleased with himself. 🙂

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This afternoon, the boys donned their Pack 280 tee-shirts and joined some other scouts from the district for some b.b. gun and archery fun. They learned range safety, proper range commands, and the parts of the b.b. gun and bow and arrow.

The boys almost look like professionals in the prone position shooting at the target. Adam thought it was pretty cool because he could pretend he was a sniper…

This was the first time for both of them on the archery range and once they got comfortable with the proper way to hold the bow and notch the arrow, they did very good. As a lefty, Adam used a regular bow and as you can see, he scored a bullseye…

Alex got to use one of the compound bows and he got three arrows in the outside rings. I thought he had pretty darn good form…

The boys had a real good time and are looking forward to the Cub Scout “Cuboree” at Camp Shands in a couple of weeks where they’ll do more work with B.B. guns and bows and arrows!

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wherein Adam experiences a rainout on the first day of Fall Ball…

Adam: Why did it have to rain?

Me: Hey, buddy, rain is just part of baseball!

Adam: I don’t get it.

Me: Look, baseball is a very simple game: You throw the ball, you hit the ball, you catch the ball. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes it rains.** Rain is just part of baseball.

Adam: You’re weird.

Rainout

** with thanks to pitcher Ebby Calvin “Nuke” LaLoosh (Bull Durham, 1988)

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The weather was very nice today, so nice that the boys and I decided to hit the ball field for some fundamentals. The field was a little damp after a couple days of rain, but not too bad.

Baseball Practice

We worked on fielding mostly, but got in some batting practice, too, and some pitching and catching for Adam. After a nice work-out on the field, we went to lunch at one of our favorite restaurants: Gator’s Dockside. The food is great and we like to sit outside and watch baseball (or football or racing, etc.) on the big screen TVs.

Gator's Dockside

We had a blast! (as always 🙂 )

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The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp is the new name for the Marlins’ AA baseball team formerly known as the Jacksonville Suns. I grew-up with the Suns, so am not too keen on the new name, but Adam and Alex are on board! I guess the silly naming convention used in the minor leagues really does appeal to the kids. Still, I miss my Suns.

JS Sign

Anyway, today was “free hat” day at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, so the boys and I tried our luck at being one of the first 1,000 through the gates to get a hat. Alas, we weren’t, so I just bought hats at the “Shrimp Shop”.

So, wearing our new Jumbo Shrimp hats, and with hot dogs, pretzels, and peanuts in hard, we made our way to our seats along the first base line.

Adam Alex

I was surprised at the crowd here today…

Crowd

The game was great! The Shrimp were playing the Mississippi Braves. The Braves were up 2-1 until the bottom of the 6th when Cal Towey hit a 2-run double putting the Shrimp in the lead for the first time. The Braves came back and tied it up 3-3 in the top of the 9th, but then, the Shrimp’s John Norwood hit a walk-off homer to give Jax the game!

John Norwood

It was a great game and the boys and I had a LOT of fun!! Of course, the highlight of the game for Alex was meeting Jacksonville’s new mascot, “Scampi”…

Alex and Scampi

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It’s been a great year, but alas, the season has come to a close. Adam was heartbroken it was over and actually shed a tear or two. He loved this team and had the best time in this league. Hell, we all did! Now, it’s the bitter-sweet trophy day. Coach John talked about each player before he presented the trophy, highlighting their strengths and contribution to the team…

Trophy Day Trophy Day

But before we go, let’s take one last look at Adam at the plate. Well done, buddy! We’re very proud of you.

Trophy Day

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Baseball season is in full swing and we’re at the field 2-3 times a week for games and practice. Adam (and his coach) has discovered he’s a pretty darn good catcher, so guess who is suiting-up a couple times a game now? There aren’t too many balls that get past him either. It’s a lot of fun watching Adam rip that mask off when the ball is popped-up behind him. He’s the first kid to actually do that!

Adam playing baseball

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Adam and Alex are ready to hit the track for the school’s Boosterthon Fun Run! You’d never guess they were twins 😉

Fun Run Fun Run

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