I felt old on Sunday.
I covered a Little League all-star game in the morning at Cranston American and remembered back to one of the first Little League games I ever covered there, way back in 2006.
In the afternoon, I watched an American Legion game between New England Frozen Lemonade and Senerchia Post 74, and I remembered covering many of those 18 and 19-year-olds when they were Little League all-stars.
It’s one of the cool things about this job. If you’re good with names, you can follow a career.
And you can feel old.
I can’t believe it’s been so long. I still remember sitting on a dugout bench interviewing Warwick National coach Craig Blanchard. He was talking about how good the North Kingstown pitcher had been, noting that his son Zach struck out, and that Zach didn’t strike out very often.
Zach still doesn’t strike out very often. He hit .500 this year for Pilgrim and was a first-team All-State selection.
I remember Rich Bacon being the best player on his Warwick Continental all-star team. Now he’s a stand-out for Hendricken. I remember Tom Pannone pitching in that game at Cranston American in 2006. He threw a five-inning no-hitter, I think, and now he’s one of the top players in the state at Hendricken.
It goes by fast – little baseball players turn into big baseball players pretty quickly.
I’m not just saying this to wax poetic about the passage of time. There’s a lesson in there for athletes and their parents.
It goes fast.
There’s a tendency in sports to always think about what’s coming next – which AAU team to try out for, which tournament game comes next, what goals to set for next season. You’re always thinking about making the next level, JV to varsity, high school to college.
You can’t forget to enjoy what’s happening now, particularly at this time of year.
The Little League all-star season is always fun, and nothing’s better than a tournament run. It’s a time to savor, regardless of the destination.
That’s the fun of it. Just the other night, at an 11-year-old all-star game at West Side, the National Anthem didn’t come on when it was supposed to. After a few seconds of silence, a West Side coach yelled to the press box that they would sing it. Everybody joined in, a little baseball chorus.
It was a funny moment, the kind of moment you remember.
Enjoy them this summer.
Because it goes fast.
William Geoghegan is the sports editor at the Warwick Beacon. He can be reached at 732-3100 and firstname.lastname@example.org.