Thursday, August 14, 2014

Baseball Follow Up

My last post...way back in July...left off with Billy's baseball team winning the Sr. Babe Ruth State tournament.  With that win they earned a berth to the Regional Tournament in Dickinson, ND.  The State Championship game was on Friday.  We had a busy few days before leaving early Wednesday morning!

On Saturday we went to the Stillwater Log Jam days and saw Greg Brown perform.  Very cheap tickets and we were in the front row.  Score!  He was performing by himself and in fine form.

From Stillwater we drove to the cabin and spent the night there and at the farm the following day.  This day lily is one of many that bloom at the farm.

On Monday I spent some time catching up on work stuff to get ready for our time away, and snapped a picture of the abundant Bee Balm in the garden.  It has gone crazy this year!

Tuesday was more work stuff, watering the plants in preparation for being gone, laundry and packing.

We had to be in Dickinson in time for the team to check in at 1:45 Wednesday afternoon.  We met at the baseball field at 5:20 a.m. to pick up a few extra boys and all their gear...and off we went.

Pretty blues and greens along the way.  North Dakota is beautiful...we got to see many miles of it from the car!

Everyone arrived safe and sound.  The team checked in on time.  And then the waiting around began.  The team wasn't scheduled to play until Thursday evening, after the opening ceremony.  So Eric and I did what most respectable parents would do...we ditched the kids and went golfing!  That sounds bad...but Billy is 19 and had an on-line college class to finish up so we were really doing him a favor by giving him some space.  And there was a top 100 scenic golf course 30 miles away.

And boy, was it scenic!  We golfed at Bully Pulpit in Medora, ND.  It was like driving around in the badlands in a golf cart...while losing golf balls along the way!  Golfing there made the trip worthwhile all on it's own.

From the golf course we drove to Theodore Roosevelt National Park and toured the rest of the badlands from our van.  I didn't realize the badlands in North Dakota were so be honest I didn't even know that they were there.  What a wonderful surprise.

After our tour we headed back to Dickinson.  The boys had a short baseball practice and then spent some time watching the other Minnesota team playing their game.  The other Minnesota team came from Eden Prairie as that was pretty cool.

And then it was time for the opening ceremony.  They do it up right with a lot of tradition.  All of the teams are introduced and take the field.  They recite the sportsmanship code:

Develop a strong, clean, healthy body, mind and soul.
Develop a strong urge for sportsman-like conduct.
Develop understanding of and respect for the RULES.
Develop courage in defeat, tolerance and modesty in victory.
Develop control over emotions and speech.
Develop spirit of cooperation and team play.
Develop into real, true CITIZENS...

And then we sing the National Anthem.  I like that they take the time to do things right.

How lucky are we in this Nation to have the freedom to play baseball?  It's a game, but some true life lessons have been learned along the way.  I'm beyond proud of how Billy has handled it all.  I know that my dad is smiling down on him...he would have been pretty proud too.

The first part of the tournament was pool play.  Top two from each pool would play on Sunday.  The boys played Dickinson on Thursday night...they won.  They played Charleston, MO on Friday afternoon, they lost.

On Saturday morning Eric and I took another little break from baseball and went to Taylor, ND for their annual horse festival.  We didn't know what to expect, it sounded pretty big!  It wasn't...but that's what made it perfect.  25 horse units in the parade.  A petting zoo.  A few tables with items for sale.  And a lot of local characters that made me smile and wish all over again that my dad was with us.  He would have loved it!

We made it back to Dickinson in time for some more baseball.

The boys won their 3rd pool play game vs. Holyoke, CO.  That meant that they were 2nd in their pool and would be playing the winner of the other pool on Sunday.

On Sunday at noon the boys played Fargo, ND in the semi-final game.

Winner plays in the Championship, loser goes home.

The Eden Prairie boys came to play...and win!

Their win put them in the Championship game versus Charleston, MO at 7:30 Sunday evening.

The Charleston team was tough.  They had won the tournament last year.  Billy's team gave it their best.  There were only 3 hits from EP in the game.  One boy had two of them.  This boy had one. Yeah Billy!

Second place in Regions, can't complain about that.  Billy and his proud dad.

And Billy with his proud mom.  I'm glad that his team did so well.  I'm sad that his Eden Prairie baseball playing days are over.  He's planning on playing club baseball at Iowa State again in the fall.

We don't get to watch...but on the other hand...he's on his own with the baseball laundry.  I'll just think about that when I'm missing the days at the ball park!
I'll be back to the pictures of flowers and horses and whatever comes my way before too long.  Thanks for stopping by!

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