Playing in the Miracle League is a great thrill for Luke. He loves his uniform. He loves seeing his friend JT every week. He loves his coaches. He loves his name sticker. He loves to pick a bat. He loves to get water from the cooler in the dugout. He loves his buddy, Aunt Stara. He loves to check out the weekly batting order when we arrive at the field. He loves it when he bats first. He loves it when he plays pitcher. Thankfully his coaches know that he loves all these things, and more often than not, they have Luke playing pitcher and batting first. He even loves to stand in line and listen to the announcer call out the batting order, step forward, raise his hat above his head, and wave at the crowd when they call his name.
Luke is very astute when playing the field. Stara has done a great job of showing how to field the ball when the batter hits it off of the tee. Once Luke has a handle on the ground ball, he knows to throw it to first. He gets it.
But nothing is quite as thrilling to Luke as batting. He loves to hit the ball. He loves batting practice before the game starts. He loves walking up to the plate when they call his name and play his song (Survivor's Eye of the Tiger). Twice during each game, he walks up to the tee, chokes up on the bat, and takes aim at the ball.
Lucky for him, Luke got to bat three times this past Saturday. He was SO excited to be first up to bat (the Grasshoppers were the visiting team, so he was the first batter of the whole game - EVEN BETTER). When the announcer called his name, he grabbed a bat, marched up to the tee, took aim, and swung for the fences. Too bad the home team really hadn't had a chance to take the field yet, and even Aunt Stara wasn't expecting Luke to act that quickly.
If you look closely at her face, you can even imagine her in the midst of saying "WAIT!" but its too late. Luke's already making contact.
Even though Luke took off for first (and then second) base within seconds of this shot, the umpire made him come back home and hit again. I don't think he actually minded. By the time he bat again, there were fielders and buddies waiting.
Stara looks much calmer in this photo.
After the second inning stretch, Luke excitedly grabbed and bat and headed for home plate to bat for his third time of the game. The umpire and Stara had learned their lesson, and kept Luke close and unswinging until the Lil' Indians had safely taken the field.
When Luke was given the OK, he stepped up to the tee, choked up on the bat, and swung with all his might. He's got spunk. And a spark. You can see it in his face that all he wants to do is crush that ball. His bat made contact with the ball, Luke dropped his bat carefully next to the tee, and off he took running, thrilled as he could possibly be.