On the same day as the 25th anniversary of Kevin Costner's Field of Dreams( +Field of Dreams Iowa ), I sat my be-hind down on a hard, aluminum bleacher to watch my little brother play his last tee ball game of the season. The stands were filled with excited family & friends sitting in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. The smell of freshly cut grass was intoxicating. The innocent chatter of players & the happy cheers of the crowd were orchestral....maybe this is heaven.
It was also a late afternoon game with a temperature of 80 degrees F, and no shade.
So, I peeled my now sweaty be-hind off of the bleacher & made my way to the snack bar. As I squinted at the drink menu, I heard the Voice say, " Let us by you a drink."
Huh? Who said that? I looked to my left and then looked down to find a 6 year old boy from the green team standing there. He certainly wasn't the Voice I thought I heard.
"One +Diet Coke and a bottle of water, please." As I opened my +Free People crossbody bag to grab a couple of bucks, I heard the Voice again. "C'mon. Let us buy a pretty girl a drink." ugh... is this really happening?
Glancing again to my left, I found the same little ballplayer but this time with a man's hand patting him on the back. My gaze was locked with the boy's. I didn't want to look up....I prayed I was hallucinating due to the heat.....
Unfortunately not....because there he was, visible to me & everyone else.....Shirtless Joe Dad of little, green player.
Temporarily blinded by his sunburned skin, I muttered some form of "no thanks" but Shirtless Joe Dad insisted, "You can't turn down my boy on his first try at buying a girl a drink." The little player seemed to have no clue as to what was going down as he rummaged through a big bowl of gumballs(5 for 25 cents FYI). I reluctantly accepted the offer only to try to put an end to this disturbing encounter and, maybe...just maybe, save the boy any future, troubled father/son/baseball relationship.
"I never seen(sic) you here before," Shirtless Joe Dad inquired. For Love of the Game, give it up!
Before the Voice could speak again , I eased my own pain by slowly disappearing into the field of people as I waved to them over my shoulder.
For reasons they can't even fathom, there are shirtless dads using their young sons as unknowing wingmen for hitting on gals at snack stands at their big, beautiful Little League complex. But I don't think this is what the Athletic Association had in mind years ago when they said, "If we build it, they will come."
|My little MVP bro|
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