Saturday, April 21, 2007

That's my boy: Niall steals home plate!

Little League news flash. The Montecito Heights Dodgers (Major division) came back from a 3-0 deficit to best their arch-rival Angels in today's opening day game. Starting right fielder Niall M. stole four bases, earned two walks, and scored the team's ninth run during an exciting 4th inning in which his team added a couple more runs to the previous inning's onslaught that ended with the Dodgers up by 7-3 after entering the inning 3-0! Sliding into home under the throw, he was called safe in a thrilling climax to his already storied performance. His proud father cheered him on, even getting up from his portable camp chair under a tree off the right field line, gently if relievedly putting down his copy of Michael Ó Siadhail's "Learning Irish," to sidle nearer the dugout to share silent good vibes always and vocal encouragement when needed.

Both teams played well. It'll be a wonderful spring for both fans and players. But the father found himself reprimanded by son in being too vociferous in cheering in a couple of the runs that followed said sons, so father retreated back to his tree.

Niall got his cap signed by Opening Day guest speaker Kenny Landreaux, member of the 1981 World Series Champs the Dodgers. The image of my boy is from his stint last year with the Northeast L.A. Cardinals (Minors) before he traded himself as a free agent to the Dodgers. Great choice as he has so much Dodger couture already. But, unlike the St. Louis cap, now he has another blue-and-white LA cap that he will gladly doff on and especially off-field. Big bro Leo M. did the larger Homeboy image for his little bro-- big bro's showing a real interest in graphic design even if he does feature in recent efforts a Warholian repertoire of processed faces such as Charles Manson, Dirty Harry, countless zombies, and the "original poster of Alex from 'A Clockwork Orange.'" Ah, callow youth and their rebels. As long as they learn from the tragic lessons this week in Virginia. (As a mordant aside, moved as I was by Liviu Libescu and Kevin Granata-- who was about my age-- and their efforts to save students while being gunned down, Layne did comment to me that she doubted given conditions at my institution if I would be inspired to similar sacrifices on behalf of my charges.)

The two other images are of another Dodger with a #5 on his uniform, Whittier-born and current Bellflower resident (who also enjoyed trips to Chavez Ravine as a boy) Nomar (mystery solved: Ramón backwards) Garciaparra, All-Star, hometown hero at first base.

1 comment:

harry said...

Four steals? Jeez... the kid obviously has pins.

Nomar lives in Bellflower? Not possible... however, Ramon does set right something that was an inchoate name for a baseball god.