Hey Wake Forest Fans – This Is The Team To Watch

I know. We made it to a bowl game and won. And I am excited about what we may do next year.

And we made it to the dance for the first time in years. If Collins comes back, the Deacs may have a chance to make a lot more noise next year.

But you need to start paying attention to the Diamond Deacs.

Last night, our boys of spring went to second-ranked Louisville and handed them their first home loss of the year.

Last weekend, they won a series in Coral Gables against the University of Miami for the first time ever.

They are ranked in every major college poll in the nation.

They lead the nation in home runs.

They have beaten four ranked teams.

They beat last year’s national champions on the road.

It’s been a while since we have been to a bowl game, gone to the dance, and hosted a regional.

That, and I really like this retro-looking jersey they are wearing this year.

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Go Deacs!

A Lesson From Baseball That Includes Not LollyGagging

I respect great coaches because they teach young people that life is not just a game, but a journey.

This showed up on a twitter feed this evening and it applied somewhat to what I have been explaining to my students in class as the AP exams come up. It’s from Joe Maddon of the Chicago Cubs who now has a little jewelry to put on his ring finger.

But like a great coach, he has no time to admire what he has done. He’s to busy guiding his team.

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Be present. You have to show up and be in that moment.

I teach four sections of Advanced Placement English. I have some bright, motivated students, many of whom take upwards of six AP classes, play sports, and do extra-curriculars. Some even have jobs.

They are stressed about right now. My class is not easy. If it was, then I would not be teaching it. With about a month until AP exams, students begin asking how many multiple choice questions they need to get correct or how well they need to do (on average) to pass the AP exam.

And I tell them the same thing every time. “Why would you have me tell you what you should do to do the bare minimum of what others may consider adequate? Only you can determine that.”

I am hoping they take more pride in the process of becoming self-learners who are self-motivated and self-driven and ultimately self-defined. Ultimately, if they seek to always improve instead of always being perfect, then there will be a point where they do not seek validation from an exam grade from a nameless face.

They will get validation because they believe in the process.

How appropriate that this quote comes out on Opening Day.

 

Play ball.  And don’t be a lollygagger.

Skip: You guys. You lollygag the ball around the infield. You lollygag your way down to first. You lollygag in and out of the dugout. You know what that makes you? Larry!
Larry: Lollygaggers!
Skip: Lollygaggers.

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By the way, Bull Durham is one of the best written movies ever.

Musings With Malcolm – Time To Get a New Baseball Glove To Match the Hair

If you keep up with just a few of the postings about our little fireplug, you may have noticed that we have been in a bit of spring training. Why?

Baseball season is about to start.

For Malcolm, that means the Challenger League that for years has been running at Southwest Forsyth Little League with the tireless efforts of great people with big hearts and infinite patience.

For me, it allows a dad to share his favorite game with his boy.

And an excuse to go shopping for equipment.

Malcolm’s glove from the last two years has taken a little bit of a beating and to tell you the truth, he has grown some – finally. At last weigh-in, he was a little over 70 pounds of pure muscle driven by a love to play.

If you do not know about the Challenger League, kids of all ages who have developmental and physical delays come together to play baseball and they are assisted on the field by typical developing kids who run with them, field with them, and simply guide them through the process.

Everyone gets to hit at least twice.

There is no losing team. Just winners.

Malcolm goes to run, drink water, and talk to the ladies. And wear red.

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Yep, that’s his batting helmet. Sometimes he wears it at home when he plays on the Wii. Or sleeps. Or just hangs out. Sometimes he makes me wear it.

But since seeing his favorite baseball and softball teams at West Forsyth already take the field, we needed to go ahead and get that new glove.

Malcolm picked it out himself. Rawlings of course.

And it is RED!

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Like the hair. Like the fire in his belly. Like the flames that burn the field when he runs after a hit like this:

At least until he sees a lady he wants to say “Hello” to.

Boy has priorities.

By the way, #7 is also the number of Mickey Mantle, one of the greatest switch-hitters to ever live. But more importantly, we went and got ice-cream afterwards.

Only one hand is needed for eating a cone. Glove was on the other.