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Life rhymes from the diamond

August 19, 2016

Game 1: Resiliency Never Giving Up Game 2: Teamwork depending on each other Game 3: Hard Work leads to good results Game 4: Figure out a way even when you're not at your best Game 5: Disappointment and loss Game 6: HumilityGame 1: ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS 23, CLIFFSIDE PARK/FAIRVIEW 18 The

Game 1: Resiliency Never Giving Up
Game 2: Teamwork depending on each other
Game 3: Hard Work leads to good results
Game 4: Figure out a way even when you're not at your best
Game 5: Disappointment and loss
Game 6: Humility
The time for Game 1 was finally here
After weeks of preparation it was time to put on the gear
Lineups were announced and each team's fans began to cheer.
Our nervousness quickly became apparent 
As walks and errors made us look incoherent
Down to our last three outs in the sixth and final frame
We were seven runs behind and looking for someone to blame
But even with what seemed like an insurmountable hurdle to win this game
Our coaches told us to dig deep within ourselves and not give up or quit
So we battled back and tied the game when our ninth batter got a base hit
Our opponent threatened in the bottom of the sixth with runners in scoring position
But the rally abruptly ended when our centerfielder made a diving catch as if he were a magician.
We built on our momentum with seven runs in the seventh inning
Which changed our demeanors from crying to grinning
And walked away with a victory that wasn't so pretty or efficient
But in the process we learned a life lesson on how to be resilient.
By not quitting we took an unlikely outcome and made it quite fitting.
Moving on to Game 2 we were a little apprehensive
We knew we had to play our best both offensive and defensive
But we were shorthanded with five of our starters unavailable
If our alternates didn't show up or played horrible
A forfeit or a defeat was definitely probable
Our roster of nine almost got sidetracked 
When our leadoff batter was struck in the back
But he got to his feet and proceeded to first
And soon scored with our hitting outburst 
Our pitchers delivered and our alternates were cool 
We won in four innings thanks to the ten run mercy rule
We had no stars just a bunch of kids pulling together
Baseball is a team game and boy were we dependent on each other. 
We worked hard at practice in preparation for Game 3
Hoping that our smart base running would be the key
We were playing another team that didn't have a loss 
So we came to the ballpark early to do some soft toss
Our pitching and fielding soon reached perfection
As occasionally you read on the front page of the sports section
We worked hard and came to play
Scored eleven runs and had a field day
The game ended after only four innings
Another mercy and the continuation of our happy endings
The lesson from Game 3 was clear
Hard work made us a team to fear
We came to Game 4 riding high
And quickly built up a nice lead after a sacrifice fly
But our play soon got off track 
And the other team scrapped its way back
They had their backs up against the wall 
One more loss and they'd have no curtain call
A pop fly near the line that the umpire called a fair ball
Would our relief pitcher hold them down once and for all?
Not at our best but somehow managed to survive the close call
We got the third out and breathed a deep sigh of relief
Having completed pool play with 4 wins and no grief
Prouder than our small town mayor or local police chief
We were New Jersey State Champions of District 6 Pool B
And learned more life lessons than a team with a master's degree.
We couldn't wait to see what the next round of play had in store 
Would we learn more life lessons or just be concerned with the baseball score?
We're a small little town with a population of 5K
Up against an opponent eight times as large on census day
Our strategy had to include everything even a squeeze play
We ran up a big lead thanks to a timely grand slam
But later relinquished it when our pitchers got in a jam
We battled back to tie it at ten 
A team with heart as we proved time and time again
We had three pitchers with twenty or less
In great position to pitch again tomorrow with little or no rest
But over the next couple of innings our opponent scored three runs
We were sure to come back as up to the plate stepped our big guns
In scoring position with less than two outs
All we really needed were a couple of timely clouts
One runner and then another tagged out at third on a very close play.
Unable to reach home we had to call it a day
We learned something new and have to make a confession
Disappointment and loss is not an easy life lesson.
We came to Game 6 with confidence abounding
Having previously beaten our opponent in a victory so resounding
As expected, we jumped off to a nice lead
Thinking the other team would surely concede
Our delayed steals had our opponent confused
We smelt another mercy but this day they refused
They got two runners on and were off to the races
And tied the game with a home run that cleared the bases
They took the lead with a delayed steal of home plate
As our over confidence began to deflate
Our coaches reminded us of the first game and how we can back
All we had to do was to launch our normal attack
But this time it wasn't meant to be 
We were heading to a fate that none of us did foresee
Hit the ball hard but right at their defense
A line drive down the line called foul at our expense
We tried our best but it was time to let go 
Got eliminated from the tournament by an unlikely foe
Today we arrived at the athletic facility with a feeling of invincibility
But went home having learned the lesson of humility.
Rather than sulk and think what might have been 
We were grateful to have learned a new life lesson again.
Life has many lessons and not all of them end in smiles
We have to learn them all in order to be prepared for life's trials
For no one goes through life with only good and no bad
Every coin has two sides and some life lessons make us glad while others make us sad
So keep your head up even when you think you've reached the point of no return
Because the only bad life lesson is the one that we never learn
So parents, don't shield your kids from any unhappy experiences in baseball
Or they will surely be at a disadvantage in life over the long haul
And kids, when the playing is over keep everything in perspective
Above the winning and losing, learning the important lessons of life should be the objective.