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Column: All-Star season stirs up lasting memories

The start of All-Star season stirs up plenty of fond memories.

I wasn’t a gifted enough ball player to be given a spot on any all-star roster squad, in fact the one year I was named an alternate in Daphne, Alabama I went through the roof with excitement.

No, my memories don’t come from playing the game I love at the recreation league’s highest level, but from watching.

Like many families, my family lived at the ball park. My mother would race home from her work to either pick us up from school, day care, or home to make sure we were ready to head to legendary Lott Park in Daphne. We would be putting on those ever-difficult baseball socks and cleats as we were running out of the car. My dad, who worked over an hour away, would always have his cleats and his hat ready to go in his truck.

After the regular season ended, my dad and brother would represent Daphne in All-Stars on a yearly basis. Me the average at best ball player, would be with my mom and sister cheering the guys on.

I always enjoyed backing the local team, similar to the way I did in middle school, high school and even college.

There was a different feeling in the ball park during the summer, especially when my brother was on the mound. My dad of course, handled everything in step and was always stoic, and my mom, like most parents, yelled and rooted for each player that stepped up to the plate.

While my sister played in the massive dirt pile behind the bleachers or in line at the concession stand, I was pacing back and forth hoping my brother would bounce back from a 3-0 count or a hit a ball in the gap to clear the bases late in the game. It was a sense of pride to see my family and town succeed on the field.

As years went by and my brother was no longer playing, it was my sisters turn to take center stage. My dad, who cut his teeth coaching boy’s baseball and basketball, switched over to softball, and he did it in stride.

I transitioned from watching my brother getting out of 3-0 counts, to watching my sister run in on a ball from third base.

It was a time I will always cherish. A time to spend with family and friends. Now all grown up, I look forward to the day when I can hopefully lead my son or daughter on the field and create more lifelong memories. Who knows maybe I can get my dad out of retirement and coach one more time.