Friday, November 22, 2013

My Very Cool Week

Something very cool happened to me this week that I’d like to tell you about.
Last week I read a Twitter tweet from the Toronto Star which asked us to tell a short story of a time when we were mean to another person or someone had been mean to us.
The first thing I thought of was my blog entry of November 17, 2012 (It’s been a year already??) in which I wrote about two mean moments in my life.
So I sent a note with a link to the blog and asked them to read it.
I knew that it was too long for what they were looking for but what the heck? It was a way to get someone else to read it anyway.

On Monday afternoon I received an email from a pleasant lady named Sarah at the Toronto Star saying that she really enjoyed my blog post, especially the story of Ephraim and the milk.
She asked if it would be okay with me if they ran a shortened version of the post in the Star if they had space.
I replied thanking her for taking the time to read it and that it was certainly okay for them to use it.

I forgot about it until yesterday morning and realized that if it DID run in the Toronto Star I probably would never know about it since I am out here in New Brunswick.
So I sent Sarah a message asking that if they do mention my story could she please let me know so that I wouldn’t miss it.

I was very surprised when she replied that it was in the paper at that very moment and all I had to do was search my name on the Toronto Star web site to find it.

So I waited for several hours until I had a free moment to take a look.
No way! I didn’t waste a second! I looked immediately and there it was.
I was so impressed at the editing that Sarah had done. It was a very professional job.
Here is the article as it appeared:

True tales of mean: A reader apologizes to a boy he hurt

Reader Tim Scammell says a mean thing he did 40 years ago has bothered him all his life.
Published on Thu Nov 21 2013

We asked readers to tell us the meanest thing they have done to someone and/or the meanest thing done to them. One of our favourite stories in the latter category came from reader Tim Scammell who, after talking to his son about meanness, used the Internet to find someone he had been mean to 40 years before. Here’s an edited version of his apology to his childhood chum.

Dear Ephraim

You and I were in McNicoll Public School together and I have thought about you many times over the years.
Earlier this evening I was talking to one of my 14-year-old twin sons about how mean kids can be to one other. I told T. the story of something I did to you that has stuck in my mind all these years. He told me I should look for you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Google and apologize.
I believe it took place the summer between Grades 3 and 4.
It was a hot sunny day and my friend Andy Heywood and I had gone to play in the schoolyard.
They had cut the grass after a long spell and we were playing around in the huge piles of clippings. We both became hot and thirsty.
I don’t know which one of us thought of it but we knew you lived just across the road. We decided to go to your house and see if you would give us something to drink.
Your mother answered the door and called you. We asked you if you wanted to come out and play. You agreed, but had to put your shoes on.
Before you did that we asked you if we could have a drink.
Most likely my mind exaggerates, but I remember you giving us the biggest, coldest glasses of milk I had ever had.
We finished our drinks and said we’d go outside to wait.
For the life of me I will never understand why we did this but we took off across to the schoolyard and jumped behind a huge pile of grass clippings to hide from you. The bizarre thing is I remember that you and I were friends. We weren’t best friends but pretty good school friends.
Why the heck did we do that to you?
I have a lousy memory, which drives my wife crazy, but I still have the vivid memory of watching you coming out of your front door and looking for us for a minute or two before giving up and going back in your house. I remember the feeling of guilt I had and thinking that we should go back and get you but we didn’t.
That event is one of the biggest regrets from childhood.
When you think of the horrendous terrible things that some kids do to others, I guess this is minor. But I think that at that moment we made a really nice kid who welcomed us into his house and gave us a fantastic glass of milk feel bad.
That was a lousy thing to do.
If this type of thing happened to one of my kids it would break my heart.
So Ephraim, 40 years later I want to say sorry. I wish we had not done that to you.
If this is all a little too weird for you I understand completely. Lol.

Take care,

The next day Ephraim emailed back, and wrote, in part.

Wow, thanks for reaching out. Big thanks to T., too. You must be proud of your boys.
Tim, your name sounds familiar as does Andy Heywood’s. That said, I have no recollection of the event you’ve described. The fact that you have struggled with it for so long — in that way we all hopelessly struggle with regrets, reliving events we can’t change — saddens me. But I get it; we’ve all got some of those.
Your email opened up a flood of childhood memories from Canada.
We moved to South Florida after the completion of Grade 4, during the summer of 1973. I lived there until college, when I moved up to the Northeastern U.S.
I’ve lived up here since.
My memories of early life in Canada are those of a child.
I’ve been to Toronto on business multiple times over the years, but not back to North York or McNicoll Avenue.
I remember those days with such fondness. That said — there’s no denying it — we were odd birds, my family. We moved there in the late 1960s from Israel. There was no one around similar to us. I grew up feeling my foreignness. But man, I loved hockey.
What you said in your email is very meaningful to me. Not because I remember the incident, but more because it helps me access that part of my life.
I appreciate the warm spirit you and your son have shared with me.

All the best,

Pretty well done, isn’t it? The Star certainly seems to know their editing.
So that’s pretty cool that they put my story in their paper.
It appeared in the print version as well as the electronic version of yesterday’s Star.
I have to tell you what’s cooler though.
The comments section! Those people are amazing!
I think I’ve become accustomed to the nastiness that tends to land in the comments sections out here in New Brunswick.
I don’t understand why but far too many of the comments that I see locally are just ignorant and unnecessarily cruel.
I would never have guessed that it would be Toronto that was so nice and encouraging.
There are a couple of references to the recent shenanigans of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.
Interesting how they found their way in.
I’ll show you what I’m talking about here:

Comments (33)

51 Minutes Ago
Tim is a childhood friend of mine. Our moms emmigrated from England to Canada together as 18 year olds and remained BFFs all their lives. One thing I've always remembered about you, Tim, IS your kindness. You were stuck playing with 4 little non-hockey-playing, girlie girls (your sister, me, my two younger sisters) every family visit, and you were never anything but sweet and involved. You didn't even sullenly ignore us, as some boys would! This lovely story of you and Ephraim proves that. Let's hope TONS of parents share this with their children, and TONS of other adults take your cue, and clean up some mean acts of their pasts. love, Sim.

14 Hours Ago
I was the most shy kid in public school and have horrible memories of being teased and taunted. I moved away from that small town as soon as possible, and to this day, 50 years later, I go visit relatives there and hate every minute of it. I won't even go for lunch in town. Foolish and overly emotional, I know. I've got a great life now, so I should just get over it. I made sure my own kids had the skills not to be treated that way by anyone.

15 Hours Ago
What a special exchange. I think the point here may be that what happened changed Tim and the way he treated people. I have an incident similar to this in my life--with my younger brother--and he has absolutely no memory of it and, if he did according to him, it wouldn't have bothered him. However, it gave my conscience a real jolt and I think altered my perception of other people and how I was responsible for my behavior towards them.

17 Hours Ago
If the meanest thing that guy ever did was drink a glass of milk and then take off without playing with the guy Ephraim then he is practically a saint. No wonder Ephraim had no memory of this minor event but certainly wrote a very gracious note in reply.

studebaker 2
19 Hours Ago
Unfortunately, too many who grew up as bullies have never been made to face up to the fact that their actions too often systematically destroy the lives of others along the way. I only wish that adults who continue to behave as bullies in the workplace, their families, in public in general could somehow be made aware of the negative effects of their of their behaviour and shamed into changing. Usually they are just too thick-skinned to notice so they continue to wreak havoc all the while blaming others for not being tough enough.

19 Hours Ago
I was bullied beyond belief as a child. I lived with my grandparents in a small town and kids teased me relentlessly because I had "no parents". I was also a lot smaller than the other children my age and wore glasses. Recipe for disaster. I made it through mostly unscathed, am a successful professional with a wonderful family, but now and again it pops into my head and I wonder if my bullies are sorry. I totally applaud what Tim did and wish more adults would do the same. It would send an amazing message to the younger generations!

20 Hours Ago
I was mean to a girl in grade school and it stayed with my whole life, especially when my older son became a victim of vicious bullying at Upper Canada College and I felt I was being punished for my deeds. I eventually was able to find her and apologize for everything. She was at a reunion event and was with her lovely, beautiful daughter as I poured out my heart. Well, she had done very well in life - married a great guy, got a nursing degree and had wonderful children. While I still feel sick over my behaviour, the only bright spot is that the girl I chose to pick on had an indomitable character and was not traumatized to the level I would have been in the same circumstances. Congrats Tim. And thanks Ephraim for being such a great guy!

Tim Scammell
21 Hours Ago
I'll tell you what's amazing is the wonderful comments that are being posted here. I'm humbled. In case anyone is wondering, Ephraim and I have stayed in touch and are new "old" friends. :)
Tim Scammell

21 Hours Ago
It is truly amazing the memories that are carried as burdens by many people. Something as insignificant as pulling a prank on another becomes a heavy load. I remember when I was about 8 or 9 and a friend of mine and I went and played 'nicky, nicky nine doors' on some of the neighbouring houses. We were so gleeful when I or he would knock and then quickly run behind a hedge or a car and watch the door being opened etc. What I remember most however was the last time we pulled this prank my friend stumbled over the curb and broke his ankle. He pulled himself behind a hedge and neither of us was 'discovered'. I went to summon his dad to come help. So much for childhood 'pranks'. We both 'grew up' quickly after that episode.

21 Hours Ago
Wow. I went to that school also. I can almost picture exactly where they were hiding.

21 Hours Ago
The meanest thing done to me: In the 70's, we often looped wet Speedo bathing suits onto our locks on the outside of our lockers to air dry. Someone scratched the word "SLUT" in large letters on my locker and stuck/mashed chewing gum into the crotch of my bathing suit. This still haunts me today.

21 Hours Ago
Ellie's column today is of the opposite type of person - a consciencousless, remorseless, shameless sister-in-law who relentlessly torments others. Here, we have a grown man who regrets a childhood action and reaches out to make amends, then, Ephraim reaches out and soothes everything over by saying 'no harm done but thanks for the apology'. Such a touching and timeless story about perspective, childhood impulsiveness, and regret over certain actions that seem to never leave our hearts and souls. I am truly touched by both Tim and Ephraim as this story makes me feel hopeful for the human race. Another reader embraced the essence of it, calling it a 'lesson in empathy' - just what the world needs now.

22 Hours Ago
What a lovely response from Ephraim and I'm glad Tim got to clear his conscience. Win-win.

22 Hours Ago
This is a great lesson in empathy. Tim did something that hurt someone else and never made amends for it. He knows it hurt and he knows how it would feel if something like that happened to his kids. This is a really important lesson for people of any age. So what have we learned? One, don't hurt people - no brainer. But if you do hurt someone, apologize and MEAN IT. You don't say sorry to get people off your back, you say sorry because you realize you've done something you shouldn't and you actually feel bad about it. You don't have to carry it for 40 years like Tim, but if it's not really affecting you then your apology is worthless.

22 Hours Ago
Goes to show you that a lot of kids carry around guilt about things and there isn't much basis for it. I hope Ephraim's reply made him feel better.

23 Hours Ago
read this in the paper this morning and had to come online and comment. what a beautiful example of GRACE. i had tears in my eyes from this story. i will be thinking about this all day. thank you for printing it!

23 Hours Ago
This read was a wonderful change from all the Rob Ford and Senate Scandal nonsense!

23 Hours Ago
I agree. This is a wonderful change from all the Rob Ford garbage. I find it interesting how the article had to come from one of the readers. However, kudos for finding and publishing this letter.

21 Hours Ago
Why does Rob Ford have to bleed into every single thing???

21 Hours Ago
@arpeggio5757: Thats the point I was trying to make...however I realize the irony in that I had to bring him up to make that point.

Tim, it says wonderful things about you, that you have felt guilty all these years. I pity those who don't have the depth of emotion to ever experience this kind of guilt. It shows that you are a decent person, and are bringing up your sons to be decent people too. Thanks for sharing this and for being one of the good people in the world.

Fred Garvin
Everything about this is lovely. Thanks to all parties involved for sharing - I suspect it means as much to us readers - albeit in a different way - as it does to you both.

Nancy Van Kessel
What a concept. Apologizing and asking for forgiveness. And then, being forgiven.

23 Hours Ago
I see where you're going with that, but don't even try to equate the situations.

23 Hours Ago
Nancy are not to be beleived. Why drag your undying support of a lying ,abusive un-couthed buffoon into this completly unrelated commentary .

Nancy Van Kessel
22 Hours Ago
Um... um .... ?????...more

22 Hours Ago
Hmmm......apologizing for a childhood discretion versus apologizing for smoking crack and being blind drunk while mayor of largest city in Canada. Which do you really think deserves forgiveness. Really.

20 Hours Ago

What a nice exchange! It's communication like this that gives hope to society in general!

This is such a nice example of a proper apology and gracious response... If only our politicians could exhibit the same level of maturity and grace.

kitchen table
Well done on all sides. And thanks Toronto Star for offering a place where not only the meanest among us feel at home as is often the case in the comment sections, but there is a place for reflection and hope.

Wow...Ephraim...great response! You certainly know how to graciously and eloquently accept an apology. Well done.

20 Hours Ago
Well said!

Very cool, aren’t they? Absolutely wonderful.
I sent a note to Ephraim directing him to the article and he was also very happy with the way everything had turned out.

For some reason, throughout this whole thing with the original blog post and recent happenings, my other son B has missed it.
That’s perfectly fine. I don’t often tell the boys about my blog posts or expect them to stay up to date with what I write.
If I have something that I think will interest them I’ll tell them but if they don’t read it I’m okay with that.
T was aware of everything. It was our original conversation which started all of this anyway.

As we were driving yesterday I was telling them about the Star article.
B had no idea what I was talking about so when he got home he ventured off to read a copy of the article which I had printed off.
A while later he came back and told me that he really liked it.

A few hours later B came to me again and said “I’m really proud of you for what you did there, Dad.”
And THAT, was the absolutely coolest thing that happened to me this week.

Stay well,

Monday, October 21, 2013

Not Bad at All

The last two years have been pretty interesting for our family sports-wise.
With the exception of an incident last hockey season which is also affecting us this season (I’m not going into it here), I believe the boys are doing well and having a great time.

In the winter of 2011-2012 both of our sons were attending the practices/tryouts for the New Brunswick Junior Selects baseball team. Pretty early in the process T decided that he would rather not continue the process and stepped out which was perfectly fine.
B stuck with it for a while but eventually realized that it may not be for him either. We weren’t too fond of all the travelling that we were doing and was going to come if he made the team.
No worries.
We did agree though that the boys wanted to play a higher level of baseball than the Recreational level at New Maryland. So we said goodbye to our beloved New Maryland baseball and headed to Fredericton to try out for the Bantam AA team.
Both boys made the team and the season began.

It was going along really well for B. He’s a leftie that pitches and plays first base so he was always right in the action.
I wish I could say the same for T. He’s a great player with a great arm and good hitting skills. Unfortunately a great arm like his is best utilized in the outfield where he can rocket the ball back to the infield to make the play.
He wasn’t having a lot of fun and was often bored out there. I can’t say that I blamed the poor guy. It’s a long game when nothing is coming your way.

So T came to us and said that he didn’t want to play anymore. Initially I was of the mind that if he made the team and was on the team he has to stay on the team. But I realized that no good would come of that and he would come to despise the game. He talked to the coach and there were no hard feelings.

Both guys still played summer hockey at Base Gagetown in Oromocto.
If I haven’t mentioned it before it’s a great little league that runs for 10 games. The players are made up of all skill levels from first timers and Rec players to AAA. The main rules are that they have fun and that no one player is allowed to score more than 3 goals in a game. If they do they get a penalty.
I love that rule. It ensures that the stars on the team pass the puck and involve the other players.
We’ve done this for a few summers and I love coaching. I just open the doors and the kids play the positions that they want. Great fun.

So with B’s AA ball last year we were pretty busy and did a fair amount of driving. Nothing crazy though. We had long weekends off from games. The team did pretty well.

In the fall 2012 the boys started high school. B decided to try out for the Fredericton High School Men’s AAA ball team and made it. That’s pretty good for a guy in Grade 9 who has played Rec and AA ball.
The coach of the team is a really nice young guy named Phil who plays on the Fredericton Senior Royals as well as being a substitute teacher.
Our family has always enjoyed watching the Senior Royals play. It’s as close as you’ll get to a professional baseball game in Fredericton. These guys are really skilled and put their hearts into the game.

We haven’t been to a game in a while though. I’ll tell you why just because I’m in the mood for a REALLY long blog entry today.

In the summer of 2012 my best pal Mike was visiting us from Ontario for a week as he does most years.
One evening we decided to take in a Royals game over at their home field on Baseball Hill in Marysville. They were barely able to start the game before the clouds rolled in and a massive storm ensued.
The game was rained out and everyone was given a raincheck to be used for another game.
We were pretty busy and didn’t get a chance to get over for another game in the regular season.
The senior playoffs rolled around and we decided to get over to see one of the games.

Cheryl knew the guy who looked after the tickets and administration of the team so she sent him an email asking if the playoff game that night was going to be in Fredericton of away. We wanted to head over and use our rainchecks.
Nope, he replied. We weren’t allowed to use the rainchecks for the playoff games.
Oh, okay. No big deal. We’ll just use them next season then and pay for the playoff game.
Nope, they’re not good for next year he told her.
Pardon?? It didn’t say that anywhere on the raincheck that it wasn’t good for playoffs or the following season!

That’s just the way it is.
That left a bad taste in our mouth so in the summer of 2013 we saw exactly zero Senior Royals games.
Think about this.
We paid our full admissions to see a game that wasn’t played.
By refusing to allow us to use the rainchecks they saved the price of 2 adult and 2 student admissions that we would have used.
In doing so they lost a chance to gain the numerous admission fees that we would have paid in the summer of 2013 to see several games.
That doesn’t seem like very good business sense to me.
Maybe they didn’t even notice that we weren’t at any games in our usual spots that we watched the games from?
Perhaps someone did notice but has no idea of this backstory? Oh well.

Anyway, Phil has a great baseball mind and a really good style of coaching. If there’s a screw up he’ll deal with it but in a calm manner.
The boys had a pretty good season and a good time. They didn’t make it to the Regional playoffs or the Provincials but that was something to strive for again next season.
The best thing about the FHS ball was that B had a chance to play with and against guys that are AAA level and up to 4 years older than him. He did a good job.
Also, he made new pals in various grades at his new school.

The 2012-2013 hockey season was a wild ride. For the most part the boys had a good time and made more new friends.
These things are good for Cheryl and I as well for meeting new folks and making new friends.

One really cool thing during the season was that the coach of the Fredericton AA Canadiens saw B play and asked him to be an affiliate of the team for the season. This would allow him to play on that team if they ever needed a spare player for a game.
As it turned out they only called him up for one regular season game and the Provincial playoffs series.
Keep in mind that B had NEVER played in a game before that had bodychecking in it. The recreational levels don’t allow checking here.

He held his own pretty well though and wasn’t hurt at all. He gave some decent checks and took some doozys.
During the final Provincial playoff game a kid from the Oromocto team came over when B wasn’t paying attention and smoked him with a dirty shot to the head that put B on his back on the ice. It still hurts to watch the video I have.
Amazingly though, B stood right up and skated along as if nothing had happened and wasn’t injured at all!
The Oromocto kid got a major penalty for the headshot though.
Oh, the Canadiens won that game and became the Provincial champions!
What a great experience. That was the biggest sports victory our family has been involved in to date.

This spring B tried out and made the AA Bantam Royals team again.
T decided that he would play the summer hockey at Base Gagetown again but would sit the baseball out.
He did this a few years ago and came back to baseball so I wasn’t worrying about it. If he decided to come back to the game that would be great but it’s up to him.
As a matter of fact, T was dragged around all summer with us watching B’s games and decided that he will try out for the Midget AA team with B as well as the FHS team. He said that he had to go to the games anyway so he may as well try to get on the team to play.

This year the Bantam AA Royals came even closer than last year to winning in the Provincials.
Close doesn't count though and it doesn't make a kid feel better to tell him that “close” is pretty great too.
As the expression goes close only counts with horseshoes and hand grenades.
Holy cow were we busy this summer though! We were everywhere.

I don’t know how or why but it seems that we had so many more teams to play against than last season. We played regular games in Taymouth, Miramichi, Saint John, Moncton, Sackville, Lancaster, Oromocto as well as tournaments in Sackville, Nova Scotia and Oromocto. I can’t imagine how much more travelling we would have done if the weather hadn’t been so lousy this summer. It seems that we were getting rained out constantly.

This year's Fredericton High School ball team was fantastic. There were a few of Grade 9 and 10 kids but unfortunately much of the stronger players were Grade 12 guys who will be leaving the school after this year.
This season was the last kick at the can for these guys and we were really hoping it would be the season they went all the way.
To tell you the truth, the division that FHS is in is very mismatched.

The strongest team for the last few years has been Leo Hayes High School which is in Fredericton as well but is across the river on the north side of town.
The rivalry between FHS Black Kats and the Leo Hayes Lions in everything has been thick for many years now.
Matches between the two schools are affectionately known as "The Battle of the Bridge" events.

We had a very difficult time against them last year. I don't believe we were able to beat them at all.
FHS didn't make the playoffs in 2012 but Leo Hayes went all the way to Regionals where they were beaten out.

I'm pretty certain that they were following the same path this season and won every game they played.
They beat us pretty soundly a few times.

When it came time for our division playoffs this year the games were to decide which two teams from our division would be heading to Saint John the following weekend for the Regional playoffs.
Leo Hayes being the division leader played the 4th (last) place team from Woodstock.
Woodstock didn't put up much of a fight. We beat them in every game we played against them.
It was sad to watch really. Woodstock would start off a game pretty solidly but when it came time to move into other pitchers and switch they just didn't have any real depth in their bullpen.
A game would just fall apart after a few innings for them.

We had a tougher time on our plates.
FHS was 2nd in the division over Oromocto but not by much.
In fact, last season Oromocto beat us in the playoffs and went to Regionals where they were beaten out in the first game.
One nice thing about these playoffs is that there was no "best of five" or "best of seven". The season is too short for all that and the weather is always a challenge.
When a team lost out they were done for the season. With the exception of the second Regional game. Both teams in this game were already heading to Provincials in Moncton the following weekend but the game would determine where each team would be placed in the ranking.

Our game against Oromocto was a close one and a tough battle.
One thing I find about most Oromocto teams we come up against is that they seem to be somewhat abrasive. There is far too much heckling and trash talk from their bench than I feel is warranted in these games. This has been in the AA summer ball as well as hockey too.
Thankfully, our guys don't retaliate. Rather than chirping the other team in a bad way our guys yell support to their own players. I've always been very proud that all of the teams our boys have played on have usually been this way.

In the playoff game Oromocto was loud and obnoxious for most of the game.
It made it that much sweeter when we beat them. They became pretty quiet after that.

So for the first time in several years the Fredericton High School Men's AAA baseball team was heading to the Regionals.
What would happen there was anyone's guess really. There were going to be two other very strong teams from the other Division to battle. It was not going to be easy.

On the Monday before the Regionals I was at a Parent School Support Committee meeting at the school.
I mentioned to the school principal how exciting it was that the baseball team was heading to Regionals!
He didn't have a clue what I was talking about. He, like most of the people at FHS, didn't pay any attention to the baseball teams. I should also mention that the school has a pretty great girl's softball team on which B's girlfriend is a player. They also headed to Saint John the same day but unfortunately were beaten out.
If it wasn't hockey or football most people in FHS didn't have a clue.
Which prompted me to send this tongue-in-cheek letter to the Editor of the Fredericton Daily Gleaner.
I tell people that I was "seriously joking" or "jokingly serious".

03 OCT 2013 04:32PM
Re: FHS baseball

Here is a conversation with almost every student/staff/administrator at Fredericton High School.
“Hey! Great news about the FHS baseball team!”
“Oh yeah! Everyone at the school is totally thrilled about our football team.”
“No, the baseball team. After all these years, the FHS AAA men’s baseball team is going to the regional playoffs in Saint John this weekend!”
“No, you’re mistaken. They can’t be going to the playoffs already. The hockey season is barely getting started.”
“Baseball! I’m talking about baseball!”
“Ohhh right. Baseball. Yeah that’s awesome... Uh, FHS has a baseball team?”
Good luck guys! We’re proud of you no matter what happens.
I am a proud baseball dad.

Tim Scammell
New Maryland, N.B.

So off we went to Saint John.
Our game was against the Kennebecasis Valley Crusaders.
Just like the game against Oromocto, it started out very close.
Fortunately, our pitcher was a grade 12 guy who had been playing on the NB Selects for a few years as well as on a AAA team plus, had pitched for New Brunswick this past summer in the Canada Games.
He pitched a solid 6 innings but reached his pitch limit and had to be pulled out. We were well ahead by this point and it looked in the bag.
The reliever came in and everyone became a little nervous when he started out by walking several batters.
Eventually he settled into his groove and took care of business.
We ended up winning 7-2. B had a hit and an RBI.

I was wondering if B would perhaps consider pitching if it ever looked like the team would be strapped for pitchers.
He said that he would probably not and was happy being a great first baseman.

A strange thing happened with B this year with his pitching. I don't mean good strange either.
He had been a pretty solid pitcher for several years.
While playing for the AA team in the summer one of the coaches told us that he was going to have to change his pitching style or he would never last to pitch in Midgets next year.
He told B that he was going to have to change certain things in his pitching technique.
He told us that there was most likely going to be a rough spell where B would probably not throw very many strikes. It would get better though.
This didn't really happen. B had his rough spell but it didn't seem to ever end!
Even when B tried to throw his usual pitches as before he was not having much luck.
I'm afraid that this period has made him gun shy and he has lost his interest of pitching. I'm not going to force the issue with him. It will be a shame if a great leftie thrower like him never takes the mound again but if he chooses to hone his skills and be the best first baseman he can be then good for him. As long as he enjoys himself.

Anyway, we had locked in our spot for the Provincials in Moncton!

Leo Hayes played their game against a team that was lower than us in the ranking and actually came close to losing to them. The other team was starting to roar back with a nice rally before Leo Hayes managed to finally shut them down and win.

That meant that we had to play Leo Hayes that afternoon to determine where we would each be in the Provincial's ranks.
You know what? We almost beat them! We were ahead for most of the game when an error in our outfield allowed them three runs to take the lead. In the end they won 6-4.
We gave them a nice scare for the first time that I had seen in our games against them.

The Provincials the following weekend in Moncton were a Fredericton vs. Miramichi battle.
The ball field was the nicest one we have ever played on. I was very impressed. It's the field where Moncton's senior men's team plays their games and was completely renovated and refurbished fairly recently.

We played against James M. Hill in the first game of the day.
We had another of our grade 12 pitchers who had also played in the Canada Games. He did a great job.
Unfortunately we had six errors which ended up hurting us. There were also a few calls which raised many eyebrows and several tempers.
It was a really close game but we couldn't quite pull it off. We lost 5-4.
Of note, Leo Hayes ended up playing James M. Hill if the final game and lost 7-3.
What a great job our guys did though! For the first time in 14 years the FHS Black Kats went to the Provincial playoffs.
That's a heck of a lot to be proud of.
B played a great game and had the best baseball experience of his playing career.

That's B in number 6 heading to the plate.

This year for the first time we were still involved in a baseball season in the middle of October and enjoyed it!

Next year T has said he wants to try out again for the AA summer team and the FHS ball team. I was glad to hear this.
This will be very important since so many of the team will be graduating this year. We will need a few players to make a proper team. At least Leo Hayes will be in much the same boat with their senior players so hopefully the season will be a close matched one next year for FHS.

By making it to the Regionals and Provincials I am hoping that the school awareness of the baseball teams has increased and next year more people will show an interest in them.
B has just played his best season with the highest caliber of players that he has ever played with and against. He rose to the occasion and although didn't pitch he was the best first baseman out there.
He made a bunch of new friends and played for a great coach.

Plus, it's looking hopeful that next year I will finally get to see both of my star boys play baseball together again. I've missed that so much.

That's not bad at all, is it?

Stay well,

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

It's Been 5 Years Already

Hi there. I'm sorry that I haven't been on here in so long.
I've had so many things going on in ours lives but I just haven't had the time or the motivation for some reason.
I'm sure I'll get back into the groove of it sometime soon. We'll see. Sometimes I start to stress a bit and feel a twinge of guilt about not coming here but then I realize that it doesn't matter!
Seriously. I guess a few people drop in once in a while to read this but not too many.
Don't think that I don't appreciate you if you drop by here and read this. On the contrary. I love that you're here.
But in the end this is a place for me to spew forth words and put some of my thoughts onto the World Wide Web for the universe to see.
I do have a thought today though and it's a very strong one that brought me here to tell you about. It was 5 years ago today that my beautiful little sister Hayley passed away.
I remember it like it was yesterday and it burns a hole in my heart just as big as it did that day. I've had a harder time dealing with it today for some reason than before. I'm thinking that this is because it's a milestone "anniversary".
I'm not sure but I do know that I haven't been able to focus very well and have been feeling tired and drained all day.
Usually on these days I'm busy enough running around doing things and driving the boys places and the day just whips by for me.
Also, about 4 1/2 to 5 years ago I had a bout of gout in my left foot.
I have had a mild case or two since then but it wasn't too bad. Yesterday it decided to rear it's ugly again and it's bigger and badder than ever.
I woke up several times last night with the pain throbbing. I have been hobbling around for two days.
This hasn't done much good for my emotional state.
I'm sorry that this isn't a very pleasant entry, especially after such a long gap since the last entry.
I'll be going to bed early tonight and will wake up on a newer, brighter day.
This one hasn't been so great.

Stay well,
Tim Scammell, PTech