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Apr 29 2013

Grand Slam Home Run!

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In his first at bat of the game, Will hit a grand slam home run!!! I was looking through my viewfinder and heard the loudest smack of the bat that I've heard all season. The ball went all the way to the right field fence.

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Right before Will laid some serous hurt on the ball.

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Will maintained perfect eye contact with the ball as he sent it flying.

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On his way to first base, you can see the runner that was on third going home in the background.

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Rounding first base, with the coach sending Will on, and the runner that was on second base just now touching third in the background.

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Will rounding first base with the runner that was on first now making his way to third.

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Rounding second base.

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Rounding third base, already starting to smile, the coach sends Will home!

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Will stepping on home plate completing his grand slam home run!

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High five from the coach after Will's grand slam home run.

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Will, playing right field, backing up a play by the second baseman.

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Will hit a coach pitched ball on his next at bat for a long base hit.

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Safe at first base where Will wound up stranded.

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All the rest of the photos are from the same play. A grounder was hit to Will, now playing left center. The runner that was on first base was heading to second but there was no one for Will to throw the ball to, so the race was on.

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Will and the runner both racing to second base.

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Will just about to put his foot on the base while the runner is still half a step away.

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Everyone is celebrating Will's force out at second base. And, look at the interaction between Will and the runner...

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...Will is not not making a face or, otherwise, doing anything inappropriate, but he sure is letting the runner know that this is his base! Our happy-go-lucky goofy kid is a different person of the field. It was an amazing game that Will will remember for a long time. His grand slam home run didn't win the game but it did prevent a loss as the boys tied 14 to 14.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

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Drew had a baseball tournament in Pryor today. Drew's team is all 9 year-olds while the tournament was for teams with 9 and 10 year-olds. The two teams we played today had some really big boys. Our three biggest kids won't be anywhere near their size next year. I'd bet almost anything we saw at least one 11 year old today. Needless to say, the pitchers we faced threw faster/harder than our boys were used to. Despite great form and keeping his eye perfectly on the ball, Drew just missed this one.

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Several of our boys got hit by pitches today. This one just missed Drew's head. Drew was able to hang in for a full count but then went after a low one at his knees and missed it. Despite striking out, he really held his own against a fast throwing slightly wild pitcher.

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One ball made it through to right field. Drew snatched it up and held the runner to a single.

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We lost the first game by quite a margin. While the fields were in playable condition, they were still pretty wet from last night's rain as can be seen by third base here.

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The second game started out great with our boys getting two quick outs but it was an eternity until we got the third out. The runner was called out on this play which may have not been the correct call. However, the play did provide an opportunity for the other team's parents to reveal their utter lack of class let alone anything resembling sportsmanship. One parent even had to be told to leave the park because he had come to his kid's baseball game drunk. Nice.

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Drew ready in right field.

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Drew only got to bat once in each game. This time up he hit the ball as hard as any of his teammates had today. Unfortunately, he hit it to the first baseman. A few feet to either side and he might have had extra bases.

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I was proud of Drew, despite being easily out, he gave it all his effort racing to first and never letting up.

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Drew did a great job getting his glove on the ground and scooping up this ground ball.

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Drew immediately sprang up to throw the ball in. The team lost this one by another large margin. Afterward, all the boys and their parents went to JL's Barbeque to drown our sorrows with some terrific food.

The next morning, while Drew was at his last religious education class, the team played exceptionally well getting ahead by 7 points only to barely lose 8 to 9 to end the tournament. Despite the loss, the boys proved they could compete with the older boys and are still getting better with every game.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

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Will's team has had two rain outs so I'm sure the league was anxious to try and get tonight's game in so as not to extend the season past the school year. Unfortunately, it was really cold and rainy and the game never should have even started. I took this with my iPhone right before the game began. Mama and Landon turned to smile but their jackets didn't turn with them. If you don't see a lot of spectators in the pictures its because there were not a lot of spectators.

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Will played shortstop but the ball never came his was during the inning. Clearly the weather dulled his enthusiasm but despite the cold and rain, Will never once complained.

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Right there...standing in the rain, ready to step up to home plate...is the moment a child realized adults aren't necessarily all that bright.

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Did I say home plate? I meant, home mud pit.

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A coach stepped right in front of me when Will got his base hit. So this is the foul ball swing right before.

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A very muddy first base.

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Will at third base. Notice the lack of other baseball games and people in the background.

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Crossing home plate in the rain. The game was finally called at the end of one inning arguably following up the poor decision to start playing with the poor decision to not let the them finish.

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Finally, an iPhone self-pic I shot during the game. The small image simply does not do justice to the wonderful conditions, so click the pic for the full size. Note, the camera and lens were unaffected by the weather. Canon builds a great product!

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

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With Aunt Donelda in town, we celebrated Landon's birthday a little early today. Landon picked out a vanilla cake with sprinkles and orange (his favorite color) icing. Mary did her usual amazing job on the Danz family traditional number cake.









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Landon blowing out his four candles.

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Ma, Pa, Aunt Catherine, Uncle David and Aunt Donelda all helped to make Landon's day extra special.

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Landon chose orange sherbert to go with his birthday cake.

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Landon is very excited about his Power Rangers Super Samurai gift.

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Landon really wanted a basketball goal for his room like his brothers.

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Landon loves Indiana Jones and will very much enjoy watching these DVDs.

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Landon likes his Toy Story Space Cowboys shirt. Happy birthday Landon!

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |
Apr 19 2013

Union Youtharts 2013

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After Will's baseball game tonight, all of us including Aunt Donelda went to the Union Youtharts festival where both Will and Drew had their artwork selected for the show.

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Our two artists and their budding artist little brother.

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Will's Silly City artwork.

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Will the artist.

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Drew's Hokusai Curved Lines artwork.

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Drew the artist.

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Drew's Still Life Shapes.

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Drew managed to get two artworks into the show. Great job boys.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

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Will getting his first hit of the evening.

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Easily safe at first.

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Five from the first base coach for a getting a great hit.

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Will is just a blur as he is about to step on home plate.

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Ready in left field.

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Will just about to hit a coach-pitched ball for his second hit of the night making him 2 for 2 for the game.

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Running though first base. Will later wound up being forced out at home plate when a batter hit a dribbler to the pitcher.

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Will got to play catcher again.

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Danz knees don't like to squat. Will did a great job standing up behind the plate.

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Being catcher means lots of throws back to the pitcher.

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Pure fielder form behind the plate.

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Daddy had to get lots of pictures from different angles.

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Will did a great job of not letting the ball get by him.

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Great throwing form.

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Will ended the game playing second base. Aunt Donelda was in town for Landon's birthday celebration and got to see a great game where Will played in the outfield, infield and catcher as well as going 2 for 2 in an exciting 15 to11 victory.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

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The weather was so amazing today that I took off work a little early to play with the boys in the backyard before Will's game. Landon has been learning from his brothers and has developed quite a swing. He can easily send a wiffle ball across the yard.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

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Will played a great game tonight going 3 for 3 from the plate.

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You can see the ball on the way to first as Will easily beats the throw.

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With the ball hit to the shortstop, Will was able to use his speed to beat out the tag. Will eventually scored but I was completely blocked from getting any pictures by coaches moving about.

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Will ready at second base.

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Will getting down low for a hard hit grounder.

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The ball took a bad hop but Will was ready for it!

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Will holding a runner on second base.

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Will getting ready to smack his second hit of the evening.

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Will whacked a long one into the outfield allowing him to make a casual run to first base as the coach signaled to hold up.

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The coach said something funny to Will, maybe asking him if he wanted a drink. It made Will crack an uncharacteristic in-game smile.

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Thanks to the coach's joke to Will, I got this rare smile to the camera.

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Will safe at home for the second time tonight. Of course, the catcher was literally standing directly on home plate.

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I think Will stepped on the corner of the plate but, just to be sure, he went back and gave it another tap just in case.

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Will showing his ready position.

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Will getting his third hit of the evening.

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A fist pound from his coach at third base before being stranded there to end the game. Despite a great effort the boys wound up losing 14-21.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

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Will started the game off playing catcher. It was the most amazing thing. Despite playing a full inning as catcher he never had the opportunity to touch the ball. The first four boys of the opposing team all hit the very first pitch thrown to them. One of the first batters was thrown out at first and the last batter hit into a double play. No ball ever crossed the plate!

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On his first at bat, Will hit the ball right down the first base line. The first baseman practically grabbed it while touching first. We keep working on Will's stance to aid in hitting to the left side of the field, but theory is hard to put into practice when you're in first grade.

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Will is watching the ball sail into the outfield on his second at bat.

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Getting five from the first base coach for a great coach-pitched hit.

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Will got caught off base after a fly ball that no one thought would be caught. All the runners took off and, I think, even the coaches were initially telling the runners to run. But, after an amazing catch, Will was practically at second before he had to run back to first. The shortstop was one step behind Will the whole way and never would have caught him except for Will slowing down at the end so as to not overrun the base.

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Will is serious on the field but, in the dugout, his smile lets everyone know how much enjoys playing baseball. The boys wound up losing a close one 12-14.

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A little bit of silly for the camera.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

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Will is ready to play ball in his third game of the season.

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Will started out at second base. Although he was always ready, no ball ever came near him.

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Will's first at bat resulted in a sharp hit ball...right to the first baseman with predictable results.

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Next up for Will was his brother's position, right field.

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Will demonstrated perfect form his next time up at bat and hit a long single.

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Taking it easy at first base.

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Will, again, demonstrating his remarkable ability to avoid touching home plate. Fortunately, there's never been any adverse consequence as he's always been able to quickly turn back and touch the plate.

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Now in left field, Will always maintained a sharp focus on the game.

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Will's team won this one fairly easy19-13.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

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Will had his second game of the season tonight but, unfortunately, it conflicted with Drew's practice so I only got to see about half the game. This is will getting his first hit of the night.

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Safe at first despite slowing down to avoid colliding with the first baseman. We'll save plowing through the defensive player in your way until we're much older.

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Getting five from the coach for making a good hit.

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A rare glimpse at the camera, probably just done so the cameraman would stop yelling, "Great hit Will!"

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Do you think Will is happy to get to third base? Unfortunately, he wound up being stranded there.

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A little left field ready position before I had to leave to pick up Drew. Later, Will got to play catcher.

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The boys wound up playing to a tie 17-17 in this fun offensive battle.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

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After winning two games yesterday, Drew's team won a game this morning which Drew had to miss due to Religious Education. Their fourth game of the tournament this afternoon was a tough one. Drew did his usual terrific job of backing up first and second base. Here his hard work stopped the runner from advancing to second.

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If a picture is worth a thousand words, this one tells the outcome of the game more than I can. Drew didn't even get a chance to bat before the hard time limit ended the game. The other team went on to win the tournament. Our boys played terrific winning three games before losing to the ultimate champions. Great job boys!

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

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Drew's team played two baseball games today in a tournament in Claremore.

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I've been watching right fielders on other teams and not one works as hard as Drew does in right field. Drew backs up every possible play without reward, making certain he's there that one time a ball gets past another fielder.

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The boys played two games today. Each game Drew struck out once and got to first base once. This time, Drew used his speed and quick thinking to beat out a dropped third strike. In the background you can see the coach giving five to the runner that scored on the play.

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Drew running home where he wound up scoring.

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Landon has and will continue to see more baseball games than...I don't know what. He's a great little brother cheering on his two best friends.

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Now that Will is playing himself, he enjoys watching Drew even more.

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The Stixx won their first game. Drew resting up between games.

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After striking out, Drew got to first on a walk.

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Drew wound up scoring again.

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With a runner on second, the other team hit one to short right field. Drew quickly picked it up but there was no one ready for him to throw it to.

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Knowing he should never just stand with the ball, Drew ran the ball in and took control keeping the runners on first and third.

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Another hit to right field scooped up by Drew.

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Drew tried to get the runner out at first (like he did once last year) but just missed. The ball just wasn't hit hard enough to him to be able to get the runner out. Drew's team won their second game of the day and should be well placed when the sudden death tournament starts tomorrow.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

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Will had his first baseball game of the season this evening. Here he is warming up before the game.

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Catching a ball during warmups.

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Will demonstrating his perfect throwing form.

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Will's team, the Patriots, getting one last talk from their coach before the game.

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Will in the dugout waiting for his turn at bat.

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This year is coach pitch/tee ball for Will. First the kids a chance to hit the ball pitched by their coach and if they get three strikes, they get to hit off the tee. In his first at bat, Will smacked one thrown by his coach.

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Will was easily safe at first with his first hit of the year.

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Will getting a high-five from his coach at first base.

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Ready to run to second, Will watches the batter.

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Will at second base.

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On the next hit, Will used his great speed to blow past third and go straight for home.

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Unfortunately, Will was running so fast that he stepped right over home plate without touching it.

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No problem, Will knew he missed it and was able to go back and make his run official.

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This is what baseball is all about...look at that grin!

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It was cold and I don't think either team hit one into the outfield. Certainly, nothing came anywhere near Will in center field the whole game. While other players were literally doing handstands during the game, Will maintained his concentration on every batter. He never once kicked at the dirt or, otherwise, goofed off. Will's ready position deteriorated slightly as the game progressed but given the absolute lack of activity he did amazing for a first grader.

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The second time up to bat the coach pitches were less than optimal and Will wound up having to hit off the tee. I'm still learning where the various coaches like to stand...and move...so I got a little blocked capturing Will get his second hit off the tee.

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Watching his second hit, Will takes off from home plate. He finished the game 2 for 2.

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Will at first base.

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Will at second base...with a grin on his face.

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This time around, Will made a stop at third base.

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Will was more careful this time and was able to just nick the edge of home plate as he scored another run for his team. As the result of some great hitting and some fine fielding, Will's team won their first game of the year 14-2.

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