Boys of Summer in Winter

 

March 4, 1995  Saturday

I got through the first week of baseball practice alright.  Monday, the first day, we were in Brimfield’s small gym, which seems darker than Elmwood’s.  We had a meeting, did some throwing, and were introduced to some basic drills. For me that mostly meant pop-ups, as I’ll be an outfielder.  Then at the end we heavy-lifted.  Tuesday we braved the outside, and it was icy (On the days we don’t lift we run a mile).  On Wednesday I went to the orthodontist.  The last two days we were outside too (this time I wore my new cleats, and an extra sweatshirt).

Sometimes I’m worried about how I’m going to do. Everyone messes up sometimes, right?  It’s really good to come home exhausted, to have my muscles hurt.  To feel like you really put in a full day–not just school and back home every day.

Right now we practice from 3:30 to 6:00 every night.  Mr. Slapeck, our coach, will cut back our practice time a lot when games start.  He’s a nice, older guy, and I want to do anything that will help me improve as a player.

Yesterday we went to a Spanish play during school, a version of Merchant of Venice.  Afterwards we went to Pete Vonachens’s to eat (he owns the Peoria Chiefs, a single-A minor league team for the Cubs, and is good friends with Harry Caray).  It was good.  Spence and Lance told the waitress it was Mrs. Wale’s birthday (it wasn’t).  The entire staff came into our separate room to sing “Happy Birthday” to her.  They wanted to give her some complimentary pie with a candle in it.  After the staff left, content they had all done a good job, Mrs. Wales was still in shock.  She did manage to compose herself to yell at Spence and Lance.  I saw Pete Vonachen too!

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