The Boys of Summer

Some people like the seasons… fall, winter, spring and summer. I’m sure it has to do with fond memories of times they had in those seasons. For me, it’s always summer. I’m just a summer person. Every year I look forward with great anticipation of summer… and lament it’s ending. I do everything to make summer last as long as possible.

For me, summer makes all things possible. You can swim in the summer. You can walk around barefooted in the summer… or if you have to you can wear flip-flops all summer. And if you’re bold, you can go skinny-dipping in the summer. Yes, I’m a summer person.

Today I drove by the Little League fields in Destin. All the young ball players were out there dressed in pristine white baseball uniforms. It reminded me of when I played Little League. It reminded me of the “boys of summer” and my mind flashed to the greatest baseball movie ever made… “Sandlot.” It reminded me of my summers.

It reminded me that I’ve been a summer person almost all my life… certainly as far back as those Little League days. But it wasn’t just playing baseball. It was trips to the riverbottom. The riverbottom was a forbidden place of great adventures. It was a time for bathing suits… and discovering girls in bathing suits.

The game of baseball, at least for the boys of baseball I saw today, has not changed since I played it those years ago. I stopped and watched a little bit. As the batter stepped up to the plate and tried to imitate professional ball players, the players in the field started that chatter… hey batta batta batta. A player on the batting team hollared out, “Pitcher’s got spaghetti arms.” I guess I’m not sure what that really means, but I remember I yelled out the same thing when I was in the dugout.

As the pitcher wound up to throw the ball the chant got louder… batta Batta BATTA. As pitcher delivered the ball it went… batta batta SWING. The batter did swing, and missed. But that was only strike one. He would have more chances. I’m sure the whole sequence of chatter and pitches went on throughout the day. The thought of that put a smile on my face.

For the rest of the day, the warmth of the day (downright hot) and memories of sandlots and baseball kept the smile on my face all day. Today… at least for a little bit, I was a boy of summer again. The sun has set today, but some of that warmth remains. And tomorrow when the sun comes up, I will again be a boy of summer.



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