It has been 3 months since I wrote my last post. The big question is did the blog go somewhere else? Did it come to a whimpering end? The answer is NO! I had to take a 3 month hiatus from writing to coach Georgia High School baseball……………….. well OK I was an assistant coach but I still coached baseball. The season is almost over and now I am back my fine readers I am back!
In my past posts I wrote about Georgia football being unique but so is Georgia Baseball but in a different way. After living in Georgia for 10 years I had thought that I had finally learned to at least understand “Georgia Speak” if not speak the language…………….or so I thought. I was doing pretty well until I began coaching baseball. In the world of Georgia High School baseball there seems to be a language all of it’s own. Some of the expressions said at games I have no idea what they mean but they sound good so of course I use them regularly. This is OK since I introduced an expression that was never heard in Georgia High School baseball and the good lord willing will never be again or at least it won’t be heard after i am done coaching.
The first week of baseball practice at the end of warm ups I heard the expression yelled out in unison “HAVE A DAY.” When I asked my head coach what “have a day” meant, he said, “you know, it means have a day.” “That’s what I thought that it meant,” I said. To this day I don’t have a clue as to what it actually means, I have a few ideas but can’t be certain.I of course use the expression along with my ball players every day during practice.
During our 1st junior varsity game our team was in the field and they had their 1st batter facing our pitcher. The count was 3-0 (3 balls no strikes.). Their assistant coach yelled out to his batter, “Hit it on the butter bean.” The player must have known what he meant because the next pitch he hit a double. I asked my coach what the expression meant. He said, ” No idea not a clue.” I think it may have meant since the count was a ball away from a walk he could wait for a good pitch to swing his bat but maybe it didn’t mean that at all. Later on in the season when an umpire was giving our team a hard time I would yell out to one of our boys, “Hit it on the butter bean” just to mess with the umpire. Most of the time Blue ignored me but it was always worth a try.
About 3 weeks ago we had a post game meeting with our team after a loss where we made 14 errors mostly in the outfield. We had a man helping us out keeping statistics who had voluntarily done this job for over 30 years. Our outfielders were in the dog house and they knew it. I had just told them that the purpose for their glove was to catch with it not to wave bye to all the balls as they went by them. This was after the other two coaches ripped in to them for a little over 30 minutes. This man finished us up with this sage advice of which once again I had no idea of what it meant. “Just remember to not to forget to pick all of the paw paws up.” The other coaches nodded their head in agreement. Not to be undone so did I, still wondering what he meant by what he said. I did however look into what a paw paw is. A paw paw is a fruit that tastes much like custard. It sounds pretty good to me, pretty darn good. With this in mind I have decided to plant a few near my scupernogs and muscadines.
To be fair I kind of created my own expression that is really more of a yell than an expression but my team seems to like it. so that’s good enough for me. To be frank I never meant for it to be an expression at all it actually was an accidental war cry but in the first game one of our players hit a line drive. He made it safely to 1st base.I yelled out, “Hey hey heyyyyyeeeeeeeeeee!” It was like a rallying cry. We were down 3-2 and the next hitter made contact with the ball and again I yelled out, “Hey hey heyyyyyeeeeeeeeeee!” Our players advanced. The next hitter hit a double and again I yelled out, “Hey hey heyyyyyeeeeeeeeeeeee!” We won the game. I can’t exactly say I inspired the team by my yell but we won that game and it seemed to give our team a little bit more energy every time I did it. By the way “Hey hey heyyyyyeeeeeeeeeeeee” just means I am excited.
On our way home from an away game (which we lost). We stopped at a fast food restaurant. By the front door there was a young man, young woman, a small boy and a German Sheppard. Their clothes were tattered but relatively clean. It was obvious that they were dealing with some hard times. In spite of the tough times these people were good people and spoke kindly and gently to each other. The only unique thing about any of them was that the man was wearing a knee length coat on a day when it was over 80 but this was Georgia and after ten years nothing here surprises me or almost nothing surprises me at any rate.
As I entered the restaurant I said to the man, “Nice dog.” He said, “Why thank you, wanna see my duck?” I had no idea what he would show me and after a bus ride with a bus filled with teen aged boys I assumed that his “duck” would probably be obscene or violent in some way so saying yes would probably be a bad idea. On the other hand if I said no I would never know what his duck was. So naturally I said yes and prepared to run. As soon as I said yes he reached in to his coat and I thought I am dead man but just as quickly as he as he reached in to his coat he pulled his hand out holding a ducking that was about 3 days old. The best that I could get out was, “Nice duck.” The man said, “Thank you I think so too.” The man, his wife, his dog and his duck happily walked away from the restaurant as happy as any family out to be especially a family that has a duck. I thought could I have witnessed anything more silly? After that whenever anyone on the team including other coaches would do anything silly I would ask, “Wanna see my duck?”
I may never understand what”Have a day” means but I will always know what “Wanna see my duck” means. I believe a little daily silliness in our lives is a good thing. By the way “Wanna see my duck?”