Tod's Blog

Adventures with family & friends and other things I'm passionate about…

Play Ball!

Posted by todblog on April 6, 2008

March 22, 2008

It’s a new year of baseball for Jacob and it’s a new experience playing at the high school level. Umpqua Valley Christian Schools is a small school and takes kids from 9th through 12th grade to field a team. Dave York is the head coach and has a great coaching staff working with him. Together, they do a wonderful job with the kids. In 2002, the UVC Monarchs took the state championship in their Division. Jacob is excited to work with his new coaches and he gives them his total respect.

On Easter weekend we followed the team six hours east to the town of John Day where they played in a 3-day tourney to get more experience playing and getting to know each other as a team. John Day is a cozy little town of 2,070 people (according to the City Limits welcome sign). When I worked there in 1981-82, the town population was 2,010, it’s grown! Actually, there are quite a few new homes in the hills surrounding the town that were built by retirees moving from California in search of peace and quiet, deer, elk, turkeys, coyotes, antelope,…

The pre-season tourney was on the chilly side with one day having a high of 53 degrees F. Most days were in the 40’s and if the wind blew at all, you surely felt its cold bite. Thank goodness for Under Armor thermal long sleeve shirts, long underwear, a foam cushion butt pad and a warm dog.

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Mele helped keep me warm.

The tourney took place on the beautiful Malone baseball field surrounded by gorgeous mountains. The snow capped mountains around us reminded us that winter still had it’s grip on this sleepy little town. The cold temperatures had a negative effect on the high dollar baseball bats used by the team. According to the Demarini bat care instructions, it isn’t recommended to use the bat at temperatures under 60 degrees F. The ball is too hard at that temperature and can dent or break the bat.

Coach York used the pre-season tourney as an opportunity to have the boys improve on what they’ve been practicing and to try them out at various positions. Jacob got to play second base, third base and pitcher. It was fun to watch the whole team gel and get to know each other better on and off the field.

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Beautiful Strawberry Mountains in the background
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Jacob pitching against a 4A high school team.

On the way back home, we stopped to inspect the shoe tree along the highway between John Day and Mitchell. It’s got a collection of various shoes that have been hung there over the years. Not sure how the tradition started or why but, you can smell the tree from miles away…

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