Here’s the thing

I have been super busy with work. Like, working seven days a week, busy. But the other side of the coin is that work=baseball and I think we all understand how I heart baseball.

I am very fortunate to work with a great group of guys. They are my boys, I can’t help it. I love watching them succeed and have fun doing it. I’m not gonna lie, I’m kinda jealous. They get to go out and play baseball everyday and do team things. I miss that.

I think I miss my freshman and JV teams the most. We had seriously good chemistry. Our JV team went 22-8-2. I have a vague recollection of our frosh team notching 30 wins but unfortunately I didn’t scrapbook the memory. I know, I’m just as shocked as you are.

But I love this team dynamic and this is a good group that I get to work with. But it did remind me of some good friendships I had in high school. Granted, because I played softball and the seasons were the same, I wasn’t around baseball as much, but football was a different story.

It’s true that I started out high school as pretty much the only person from my group of middle school friends to go to Napa High. Thankfully, I had football stats to keep me occupied and I’m not gonna lie, it certainly didn’t hurt to have upperclassman football friends.

And the more I got to know them, the same feelings that I have now grew: I was proud of their accomplishments because I saw how they worked everyday and they were my boys. And in return, they looked out for me too; then again, it maybe was because my uncle was a coach. Perhaps.

At any rate, I have always loved being a member of a team and I have learned a lot from being a part of a whole working towards a greater goal–I love the atmosphere and the camaraderie…the nicknames, the superstitions, the inside jokes. I have always loved them and miss them frequently.

I had all this with softball in a traditional sense; with football, I had a unique look inside the team as a female: a periphery team member to an all-guy team. I loved both instances. I think back to Lisa braiding my then-long ponytail, putting in a braid for each win (hence the reason a 30+ win season sticks out in my mind. That’s a lot of braids swinging around one’s head during a game!) or how she and I would each have a Reese’s Stix candy bar on the bus trips to away games. (Do they even make those anymore??) I remember throwing the ball around the infield during inning warm-ups and meeting in the pitcher’s circle to kiss our middle fingers, then tap the ball before Justine or Crystal threw the first pitch of the inning not sure how that one came to be or what significance it had, but we did it.

Some days, I go out to practice (aka “work”) and think I am totally jealous of the guys right now, having the team around them and making all those memories.

But on the flip side, I’m also loving being on the inside of a team again. And I have to say, they have all been cool with having a girl around. I can already feel it happening–they are growin’ on me. I have a new crop of boys–good guys who I want to see succeed since I see them working at it every day. I want their work to be rewarded. It doesn’t hurt that their victories make my job easier.

But it got me thinking about my own team experiences and of course, those involve football. I will say, and this will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me, that Napa High football was like an extended branch of my family, after being a part of it for so long and watching both of my brothers succeed on the football field.

So even though the kids on the team this year aren’t the same guys as my boys of old, I still am pretty proud of their accomplishments and how they carry on the traditions that have such a significant meaning to me.

This article that appeared in the Napa Register today got me thinking about all this.

A New Generation

I’m still pretty proud of the continued tradition and happy to have my own team again….even if that team isn’t one that I get to take ground balls with every day.