Mother’s Day weekend is a great time to thank all of the moms who log countless hours at the Cliffridge Fields, not to mention the dozens of round trips and all the things that go into raising a baseball player. It is a fun tradition in LJYB for the coaches to turn the teams over to the real brains of the organization — the moms — who take the field and manage the teams. It is funny to observe a Type-A coach sitting in the stands biting his lip and trying to stay out of the dugout.
Meanwhile, the moms are having a blast with the kids and they make winning look easy. Taking a tough loss in stride is a teachable moment and that’s when “mommy magic” — and post-game Crispy Kreme Doughnuts - really shines through as Trish Ryan spoke with her team following Harry’s Coffee Shop’s dramatic come-from-behind walk-off win over Alexandria’s Green Machine. “It’s OK boys — it’s 7-year-old baseball!” The photo with the team’s moms doesn’t look like a team that just dropped out of first place. Random acts of kindness were evident elsewhere on the field with Coach Doug Blackburn’s Aviators, where each mom was sporting a custom pink “LJ” coaches hat. The players on Coach Bryce Goldman’s team presented each mom with a long stem red rose following their game. The camaraderie and festive environment made for a great Mother’s Day tradition at LJYB.
The “Player of the Week” is Luke Bucon of RBC in Pony. In a recent game against the Bears of North City, Luke went 5-for-5 (two doubles & three singles), scored 3 and knocked in one RBI. On the field he threw three no-hit innings in a solid 10-2 victory.
In the same game Brandon Bonham hit a towering 315-foot homer that actually hit a passing car, so let’s hope his insurance is up to date.
The Dick Enberg “Oh My!” Play of the Week has to be Caden Fioroni’s unassisted triple-play for Baxter Foundation in Pinto. Picture this: With runners on 1st and 2nd base and no outs, a hard line drive is hit right to Caden at shortstop and the runners are moving. He makes a great catch for one out, tags second base double-up the runner who left the bag and proceeds to tag out the runner coming from 1st base to complete the unassisted triple play. “Oh My!” (Base running tip: Freeze on a line drive until it has cleared the infield and hold or go half way on a fly ball to make sure you don’t get doubled up on the catch — or tripled up in this case.)
LJYB Trivia: What does “CONA” stand for on the Aviators jersey of Jeff Lang Homes’ Pinto team? According to Coach Doug Blackburn (US Navy Commander retired) and a Naval aviator himself, CONA honors a “Century of Naval Aviation” which is being celebrated this year. Go Navy!
—Tom Murphy, LJYB