johnny j’s diner
My grandson, Caalab got back into softball this summer, when he was given the chance to play for his team at work. It was so much different from his years of playing when he was a little kid. I suppose that is normal, since little kids can get tired, bored, hot, and just plain done with a sport, but when they are older, and choose to play, it’s all different, somehow.
For us, as grandparents and parents, it doesn’t matter if he is a little boy or a grown man, we will be in attendance at as many games as possible. We love watching Caalab and our other grandchildren participating in any sport they might decide to participate in. I love watching them play, just like I loved watching my girls. I guess I’m just a born mom, grandma, cheerleader, sports fan…or whatever my kids or grandkids are into these days.
Monday night we went to watch Caalab and his team from Johnny J’s Diner play what turned out to be their final game of this tournament. If they lost, they would have played in the losers bracket on Tuesday, but if they won on Monday, they would be the champions for 2013. I’m sure you have already put two and two together, so needless to say, they won. We were so excited!! They played an amazing game, against a really good team. It could have gone either way, but no matter what they came up against, they all kept their heads together and in the game, and they won!!
After the game, they received their first place plaque and got their pictures taken, and then the team captain came out and personally thanked all of our family for being loyal fans. It was a great thing for him to do. He also told us that they have been playing for seven years now, and this is their first championship. That is very exciting!! I just want to congratulate the entire Johnny J’s team on an amazing championship win. We are very proud of all of you!!
As little boys, my grandsons played baseball. It was hot and took up a lot of time in the summer, so after a while, they didn’t want to play anymore, which didn’t hurt my feelings, nor those of my daughters and sons-in-law, because as I said, it was hot!! Nevertheless, the boys had a good time with it while they played…except for when Christopher took one to the nose and broke it…real good!! Each of them played well, and each of them played best in a different position. Caalab was a very good catcher, but he struggled with batting. He struggled…until his mom, my daughter, Amy figured out the reason he was struggling. Caalab is right handed, and in most things, that works, but when it comes to batting, well…Caalab is a lefty. Amy watched as he struggled and thought he looked awkward. So she told his coach to have him try batting left handed. The rest…shall we say, is history. Caalab improved quite a bit then, and if baseball hadn’t been such a hot sport, he might have continued playing.
Fast forward now, to the present day. Caalab is working at Johnny J’s Diner, in Casper, and they have a softball team. They asked Caalab if he wanted to be on the team, and he decided to go for it. The good news for us, his parents and grandparents…the games are played at night…much cooler. Caalab has grown tall and slender now, and because he works out, he is very strong. When he hits the ball it really takes off. I’m very pleased with his new found skills. Caalab is no longer the catcher, because his talents are really needed elsewhere.
I know that sometimes a player is put in the outfield because they can’t catch the ball very well…at least that’s how it often is in co-ed softball. Caalab has been playing the left field at lot lately, so we wondered why that was. Then I heard one of the players on the opposite team say, “Whatever you do, don’t hit it to left field!” A short time later, I figured out what their concern was. One of the players hit the ball to left field…and not straight to Caalab either. Caalab took off running and next thing we knew, he caught the ball and the player was out. The next guy in the lineup must have thought it was a fluke, because he hit it to left field too, and once again, Caalab was off like a rocket, and the player’s fate was sealed. The ball was caught and the inning was over.
Amy and I…well, we were stunned, and I said, “Now we know why that team didn’t want them to hit it to left field!!” It was fear…or at least a good understanding that if you took the chance and hit it to left field with Caalab playing that position, you were going to be sorry. He has grown into a strong young man who will be a asset to this or any other team…and not just a softball team. He’s a good worker, and a very responsible young man…a rarity sometimes in this day and age. I’m very proud of that quality in Caalab.