8.22.2014

There is Crying in Baseball

Taney´s Joe Richardson, center, has to cover his tears as he walks to the dugout after the lost to Jackie Robinson West, 6-5.  ( MICHAEL BRYANT  / Staff Photographer ) http://cdn.phillymag.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/winners-llws.jpgThe magical run of the Taney Dragons is over.  Like all Philadelphians, I have been captivated by this upstart team making it to the doorstep of the Little League World Series championship.  Between Mo'ne Davis' star power, the team's diverse backgrounds, and their endearing and humble ways, it wasn't hard to cheer for them to go all the way.

I have been heartened by the outpouring of positivity in response to their elimination last night.  The unifying themes have been that the players ought to be proud of themselves for representing Philadelphia and being exemplary sportsmen (and sportswoman!), and that they should not hang their heads but hold them up high.

Agreed and agreed.  But there is crying in baseball.  Many moons ago, I was on a Little League All-Star team (actually two: as an 11-year-old and again as a 12-year-old).  We didn't even get out of our division - lost both games both times - so I didn't even get a sniff of Williamsport.  But it was high stakes even at our local level.  I struck out to end our season the first year.  The second year, down to our last out, I managed to coax a walk, but a couple of batters later the season was over. 

Both times I cried when it was over.  And I hope we give our Taney kids room to cry too.  Because whether you're 12 or more than 12, it's OK to cry.  Crying means something matters to you.  Whether it's winning the championship, seeing yourself and your buds take a step forward, or just wanting to prolong a magical summer, these are all good things for our kids to want.  They're good things for them to want so bad that when they don't get them it stings. 

So hold your heads high, Taney Dragons.  But don't feel like you need to hold in the tears.  We're with you in that, too. 
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