Baseball is back and with it the hopes and dreams of a new season.

My wife and I spent countless Spring and Summer evenings and weekends on baseball fields throughout the region. Rush home from work, hustle to practice or to the game.   My turn to work the concession stand.  Sunflower seeds by the case.  And dogs and soda for the winners.

While hurried and time consuming youth sports became a way of life for our family.  We traveled to tournaments and Fall ball  and fortunately for us only one trip to the emergency room with a swollen eye.  Dinner several nights a week consisted of food from "the coop" and bedtimes were adjusted for those late starts.  From tee ball to Colt League we did it all.  It's amazing how cool it can get on a July night at the ball field. And balancing time with the other one whose interests did not include organized sports wasn't always easy. I would not have missed it for the world.

We made great friends through baseball and today to run into "the kids" all grown up,  young adults is priceless.  The men and the women who dedicate their time to coaching youth sports are unsung heroes, babysitters, instructors, nurses, role models and most often parents of their own kids with busy sports schedules. My wife actually helped coach a team once when they couldn't find enough people. .

Stop by one of the many area parks this summer and cheer for the kids.  It helps and it's fun.  You may never see that star pitcher in the line up at Fenway but to him or her this is their Fenway.  Thank a coach for their dedication. Be a coach. Sponsor a team if you can.  Encourage our youth to aim high. Cheer them on.

"Good eye, kid. Good eye."

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