Sunday, June 27, 2010

100 Posts, 100 Days...and an MVP!!

The ever-wonderful, ever-supportive, ever-encouraging Mr. at Home has challenged me to write 100 blog posts in 100 days. And to show that my challenge-loving daughter learned her ways at her mama's knee, I have to prove I could do it.

Since our conversation outside turned into a technical discussion between Mr. at Home and the cable guy who lives next door (they were oh so excited about something 3.0 and beta testing and downloads as fast as 66 and it all went over my head), I decided to come in and begin by writing my first post. And I have just the information to pass on to do it.

Last summer, K the Athlete discovered the existence of something called the All Stars where the best players from all the softball teams in our age division and our association were asked to play on a special All Stars team. She was ex.cit.ed. and it immediately became her goal to be asked to be on this legendary team. Not to actually play on this team as they played during the nasty hot summer months and that did not excite her, but just to be asked. K even gave up winter basketball to play the fall season of softball so she could improve enough to be chosen for the All Stars.

I wish you could hear the trumpet fanfare that should play every time I type the words All Stars. Did you hear it?

All Stars

That was her dream. So when the spring season drew to a close and an email showed up asking K to play on the All Stars, her little life was complete. In the intervening year, K had matured enough that she now felt equal to the sacrifice of playing the the nasty hot summer months for the honor of being on the All Stars team.

This weekend was our second All Stars tournament. The first was noteworthy only in our...ahem!...lackluster performance. That first day was rather demoralizing, but we had improved by the second day. This weekend, we played so. much. better. We ended up losing both games again on Saturday, but we came much closer in score than last time. Today it went to single-elimination and the girls played their hearts out in spite of the heat and we won the first game. The second was against the most difficult team in the group and we went down hard, but the girls still played well.

One thing different between the All Stars games and regular games is that for these each coach chooses an MVP from the other team for each game. Generally it's a pitcher who has a dominating inning or a batter with a powerful hit. Since K doesn't pitch and is usually walked or manages only a single (she's still working on these faster pitchers), she's not really in the spotlight.

Don't get me wrong. K is an awesome softball player. She's just more of a utility player. She plays several positions well. She is always attentive, always active, always getting where she needs to be to help a play. She's a consistently good and incredibly useful player, just not one you notice for one special something spectacular.

Today, however, she had a lucky break that put her in the spotlight. She was playing 2nd base and ran to cover the bag as a runner was approaching. With one foot on the bag, she reached out to catch a wild throw just as the runner came crashing through her and into the bag. Kate was knocked sideways, landing heavily on her elbow and knee, but she still stopped the ball, jumped up, and got it back to the pitcher to stop the play. It was awesome to watch.

Well, at the end of the game, the other team was asking our coach which player she felt should get the award. They mentioned a couple of the high profile players - pitchers, catchers - but our coach suggested K and they agreed. So K has a gold pin now on her visor that she is so incredibly proud of. She even asked to wear her visor into the restaurant at dinner. Not only is she now an All Star, she's an MVP.

We have one more All Stars tournament in a few weeks. I'm looking forward to seeing if a couple more of the utility players can get recognized for their quiet support. A few spectacular plays are exciting to watch, but it's the consistently good play after play performances that win games.

Hummm, just like blog posts.


Heather said...

So, where's the picture of this cool pin K won for MVP? I'd think she would really want to show it off by posing for a picture for your blog!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad K bounced back after the first tournament. She seemed to be pretty dejected at lunch that Saturday.

Jess said...

woo hoo! 100 posts! my google reader is going to be HAPPY! you've been blogging more - which has been awesome...i will be reading all 100 posts, of course!