I’ve been negligent in writing about last weekend’s trip to Hickory, NC to see the Lakewood BlueClaws take on the Hickory Crawdads. It was such an amazing weekend that it’s taken me nearly a week to decide what to say about it.
Baseball Ross really did a great job recapping the games (HERE, HERE and HERE) using my photos and his videos that I just didn’t know what to write. After some reflection, I thought I would take a bit of a different track toward what I wanted to say.
If you have been reading our blogs for any length of time, you’ll be familiar with the fact that we have “adopted” three Dominican players as our own “baseball sons”. We call them “son” and they call us “padre and madre”. Two of our boys, Ranfi Casimiro and Elniery Garcia are playing with the BlueClaws so we made the twelve hour drive to see the two of them pitch. It just so happened to work out that both of them would pitch during their trip to Hickory.
The ball park is beautiful.
The weather was hideous that first night. Going north from Florida, we thought it would be cooler and we brought sweatshirts just in case. Well Friday, we didn’t need them, it was 98* as indicated by the field thermometer.
Down in the seating bowl, the breeze never reached where we were in the first row. How Casimiro was able to pitch and pitch successfully in that heat, I’ll never know.
The next night, both of the boys were charting pitches in the stands. I was able to sit with them before the game. I took this on the way to our seats. It’s obvious that I should have drunk more milk as a kid standing next to these two.
The next night, it was Garcia’s turn to pitch. We went out to the bull pen and were able to watch him warm up. The smile on his face was so wide when he saw us there, when done, he flipped the warm-up ball to Ross. Ross was so tickled that he had Garcia sign it after the game.
Garcia pitched an amazing 7 scoreless innings and we waited for him, Casimiro and our other friends after the game to say goodbye before we headed back to Florida.
Here is our “Family Picture”.
It was the most rewarding of all our baseball trips. We got to see three really great baseball games and spend quality time with our friends and “family”. Isn’t that what baseball is all about?