Kindness Was The Name Of The Game

Kindness Was the Name of the Game
By Russ Towne

In 2012 my wife and I experienced a most unusual baseball game between the Giants and the Yankees. During it we got to see a 5-run homer, a batter run the bases backwards, and players skipping in the outfield and doing somersaults in the infield.

Perhaps I should explain…

My Beloved, a Special Education teacher for Kindergartners and 1st Graders, was invited by the parents of one of her students to a baseball game in a Special Education league. She invited me, and off we went on that beautiful sunny day, which featured a strong brisk breeze.

The home team was named the Giants and the away team was the Yankees. This was no ordinary game. In fact, it was a special game indeed.

All the fans cheered equally for every player of both teams. Each player was matched with a “buddy” on the field, a Little Leaguer who volunteered to help their little buddy to field or hit the ball and stay safe.

Every one of the young volunteer buddies was amazing! They stayed focused during the whole game while patiently guiding their little buddies in gentle, loving ways.

The grown-up volunteers, coaches, managers also kept everyone safe while helping children who were physically, mentally, and behaviorally challenged to experience the thrill of playing baseball.

Every child got to bat every inning. There were eight players per team and the score was tied 8 to 8 at the end of the first inning and ended in a 16 to 16 tie. It wasn’t exactly a pitchers’ duel, and the fielding needed some work, but their bats were on fire!

On the field was a player in a motorized wheel chair and players who could barely run or hold a bat. Boys and girls played for each team. The players went through a range of emotions during the game, with smiles dominating, but there were frustration and tears, too. Some were show-boats, some were painfully shy, and a few got overwhelmed by it all.

You couldn’t ask for a better announcer or fans. It was a wonderful way to spend part of the day.
To say I was touched by it all was an understatement. My vision blurred several times during the game as I saw people being beautiful to each other. It must have been the brisk breeze blowing dust into my eyes.
Yeah, that must have been it…

About russtowne

I'm awed by the beauty of nature and the power of love and gratitude. Some of my favorite sensory experiences include waves crashing on rocky shores, waterways in ancient redwood and fern-filled forests, and rain. My wife and I have been married since 1979. We have 3 adult children and 5 grandchildren. I manage a wealth management firm that I founded in 2003. My Beloved is a Special Education teacher for Kindergartners and First Graders. I'm a published author of approximately 60 books in a variety of genres for grownups and children.
This entry was posted in Adversity, Beauty, Challenges, Children, Commitment, Community, Compassion, Connection/Connecting, Goodness, Inspiring, Making the World a Better Place, Non-Fiction, Non-fiction Stories I've Written, Non-Fiction Writing I've Done, True Stories I've Written, Youth and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Kindness Was The Name Of The Game

  1. mimijk says:

    What a lovely story…

  2. What a fabulous day for ALL that must have been, Russ….you painted a perfect picture of it ❤ !

  3. billgncs says:

    This is a fine story Russ, I once saw a softball game where blind kids hit a ball that beeped. That touched me too.

    • russtowne says:

      Cool! I’m glad the blind children now get a chance to find out what it feels like to hit a ball!

      • billgncs says:

        isn’t it amazing, those kids had hand-ear coordination. How cool is that ? 🙂

        • russtowne says:

          Yes. They’d have probably clobbered me and many others if we had to wear blindfolds while playing against them. Come to think of it, a baseball can be kind of scary flying near my face even with my ability to see it. I can imagine how much more intimidating it would be having it buzz by my head without being able to see it!

  4. ksbeth says:

    this is a beautiful story, full of love and compassion. how lucky that your wonderful wife invited you along.a breeze must have blown a bit of dust into my eyes too, as i read this in my living room –

  5. Another wonderful, warm and feel-good story. Thank you for sharing. 😛

  6. Awww, very touching. It even made brisk breeze blow dust in your eyes. Based on what you wrote, the same thing would happened to me.

  7. Love, love, love when people care for each other. ❤
    Diana xo

  8. Oh how touching and lovely makes one glad they came for a visit

  9. russtowne says:

    Thank you, Joanne. It was certainly a special day.

  10. I love this Russ. I love people being beautiful to one another. Other people seeing it, sharing it, it’s a fantastic ripple. 🙂

    • russtowne says:

      A fantastic ripple indeed. Thank you for keeping the ripple going by reading the post and commenting on it. It is wonderful to spread the beauty of the actions and connections of such people far and wide.

  11. Ellespeth says:

    This is lovely, Russ. What a wonderful way for the two of you to spend time together.
    I’m always so behind in my blogging….but this such a wonderful post.

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