March 14, 2000
As I got home from work, Dakota met me at the door, ball and bat in hand. “Let’s play ball dad!” I didn’t even have a chance to put my briefcase down before he threw me the ball to pitch to him. I eagerly obliged even through the yelling Trina was doing that we shouldn’t be playing in the house. I threw pitch after pitch with the wiffleball and each time his little plastic bat would make a connection causing me to dive for the ball before it hit something and broke it putting both Dakota and I in the dog house with Dog Dot Com. After several minutes of throwing batting practice, I began to tire and my reflexes weren’t what they should have been. In a way, this was my spring training. Like the Major League players, in our house hitting is ahead of pitching at this stage of the game. I was resorting to throwing junk balls relying heavily on my knuckleball to try and get one past this two-year-old hustler. His hitting was dead on, he rarely went after a bad pitch and made me work for every out. I began calculating and if he continued at this pace, he would break Pete Rose’s hits record somewhere around the age of 12. Of course my arm would go out somewhere around the age of 7. Given his hitting expertise and his subsequent running around the living room sliding head first on the tile, he reminded me very much of what I was like as a kid. At that time, I was given the nickname Charlie Wiffleball. It is time that I pass that name on to the next generation. After another 20 minutes of throwing to Charlie Wiffleball Junior or Junior for short, I made a mental note to go out to the Internet and search Fog Dog for a wiffleball pitching machine. I may be getting old, but I’m not stupid. Well not until I let loose a wild pitch hitting Dakota in the batting helmet. I knew I was in trouble when he dropped the bat and charged the mound. I wasn’t expecting his attack especially when he is still waist high to me. He dropped me faster than broccoli down the garbage disposal.