so the duke's team is finished for the season. after losing their first game in the playoffs they came back to win their next two. then lost. and now they're out.
but before we depart from this chapter in baseball history i want to toot the duke's horn one last time.
he was on third headed for home, trying to beat the ball.
the catcher was in front of the plate in anticipation of catching the the ball.
so the duke had no choice but to plow into him to get to the plate. so he does. plows right into the kid. they both fall.
they are in a pile at home plate, the ball hits the catcher and bounces behind him. but what's this? the duke is not actually at home plate. only near home plate. he will be tagged out if he doesn't get there quick. so he crawls OVER the catcher to tag home!!!
yay!!! we're all cheering and going crazy!!!
then we notice that the catcher isn't moving. hasn't moved since the duke plowed into him.
and we realize that the duke has totally knocked him down. as in he can't get up.
can i just say right now that the duke is like the smallest kid on the team? well, there's a shorter kid but he's more of a natural bad ass. the duke? not so much. i've been known to joke (out of his earshot) that he hasn't grown since he was 9.
so here's this kid at home. can't get up. because my kid knocked him down.
and we're all kinda watching and i notice the duke has just noticed what happened. he's still lying at home plate relishing his win when he looks over and sees the catcher.
and bless his heart he crawls over from home plate to where the catcher is, starts patting his back, and leans in to see if he's okay.
oh my god i love that kid.
he sits there with him a few moments more, hand on his back, talking to him, while the coaches assess the situation. and then he got up and went back to his dugout. i could tell from his face he felt really bad.
i jumped up and ran down to the dugout where his team was congratulating him and saying don't worry about that, that's baseball. his coaches telling him that's what you do when the plate is blocked. you plow through. he'll be okay. blah blah blah.
and i could tell from his face he still felt bad.
don't worry about it, i told him. that's what happens, you didn't mean it.
meanwhile, the catcher is getting up, bawling, he seems really hurt. even with all the catcher's gear, the duke has really done a number on this kid. it's actually a little hard to believe. i mean, the duke did this? they have him walk around to see if he's okay. he seems to be. he wants to stay in the game.
the duke seems a little better.
everyone breathes a sigh of relief. i retreat back to the bleachers, thinking about how awesome the duke is. compassionate, caring, etc., not like other boys who might have just jumped up and went to the dugout. blah blah blah all proud smugness swirling in my head.
it's only later i find out from the lord of the ring that the duke was heard saying, more than once i might add
"i'm sorry he got hurt, but man! that felt awesome!"
so i guess let's add a little bit of a bad ass to the compassionate, caring, etc. list.
i gave birth to boys. and as much as i want them to have compassion and emotional depth, i too have to honor their absolute love of the physical. and how fantastic it must feel to knock someone out at home plate.
the presidents of the united states of america sang it best
"I'm a boy, I want to poke and destroy!"