The End of an Era
Geez. That sounds, pretty dramatic, right? Well, in my defense, I’m a bit in my feels right now. You see, my boys played their final baseball game at nearby Newtown Park last Saturday, and I’m still not over it.
Landon started playing T-ball at Newtown when he was 5, and has now officially aged out since he’ll turn 13 in September. Ryan has also been playing there since he was 3. They play both Fall and Spring ball, so if you do the math, that’s a lot of seasons of baseball played at that park. And, lucky me, over the last three seasons, they’ve played together on the same team (can you say same practice times and games?!)—the Newtown Braves.
This is by far my favorite Braves team ever. And I’ve been to plenty of MLB games over the years. Our Newtown Braves had a core of 7 boys that have played together every season since their first season of Coach Pitch. Daniel, Chris, Nick, Josh, Riley, Dane, and Landon. When Ryan’s team moved on to another park a few seasons ago, our coaches graciously agreed to include him on the team, too.
We’ve had a couple of other boys that have played a few seasons here and there with us, but these boys are the stalwarts. They’ve grown up together on and off the field. Not just growing their baseball skills, but also learning so much more about each other and what it means to be a team. They tease and bicker, and then encourage and cheer one another on. It’s just been so special to watch them grow up together.
Saturday was their Championship game. They went into the game as the reigning Champions, undefeated on the season, and as the number one seed in the tournament. I’m proud to say that they are now the back-to-back Champs! Mind you, this was the same team that, in their first season of kid pitch, did. not. win. a. single. game. Let me repeat that. They did not win a single game. What an incredible journey these boys have been on.
It’s been a privilege for me to sit in the stands week in and week out and watch them grow. Of course, my trusty travel mugs full of tea have also gone with me through the years—most recently Buckhead Tea’s Imperial Jasmine Pearl, Earl Grey Oolong, or Ginger Peach since we’ve started the company last year. I don’t think I will ever be able to drink tea in a travel mug and not think about all those wonderful hours spent at the ball park.
I’m definitely going to miss sitting on those dirty, rusty bleachers in the cold and the hot, in the dry and the wet, cheering until my voice gives out. I’m going to miss “my boys” and hearing about their exploits and talking with their parents each week. You see, we parents have also gotten to know each other pretty well over all the seasons of practices and games. We’ve walked with each other through illnesses and family problems, through the ups and the downs. We’ve done life together.
Our love affair with baseball continues, so the Warco boys will play baseball again. But not at Newtown, and not with our Newtown Braves family. It will undoubtedly be fun and we will make new friends and share new experiences, but…it will never be the same.