Saturday, June 2, 2012
No. 60 -- Boo
I don't think many things will ever mean as much to me as seeing Adam cry as we left Coleman Field in Cary, N.C. yesterday.
Let me explain.
Since Tuesday, I've been covering the NCAA Division II baseball championship tournament for NCAA.com. It's been a blast seeing the game played the way it's supposed to be played, with no money on the line. Best of all, Adam was able to spend Wednesday through Friday here with me.
Lord, did that kid have a ball. Actually, he had at least eight balls ... seven foul balls that he chased down or had tossed to him and a brand-new one given to him by an off-duty umpire who wondered into the press tent. He kept four of the gamers -- plus the new one that he got signed by former Boston Red Sox pitcher Dave "Boo" Ferris.
That's us with Coach Ferris, an absolute legend for the Fighting Okra of Delta State University. I can only hope I make it to 90, much less have as much left in the gas tank as Coach Ferris.
Adam gave one of the baseballs away to a grandfather of a kid playing for Catawba College and another to the dad of a Delta State player. Yet another went to a kid who had a foul ball he was chasing take a bad hop and go to another youngster.
But he had a game to play himself tonight, so I took him back home yesterday. He didn't want to go, and if you want to know the honest truth, I didn't really want him to go, either. When we left the motel room yesterday morning, he actually made me leave first so he could take one last look around his kingdom for the last couple of nights.
Then, when we left the park yesterday, he cried.
I'm not going to have many chances to make as big an impression on him as I did here this week, and now that I'm back at the ballpark for tonight's national championship game, there seems to be something missing.
There is something missing. My assistant.