With Nathan's broken finger, his wrestling season was cut short this year (or to be exact, he never really started). He was all too excited for baseball to start. Over the winter, a new club opened up and the owner, a friend of Dave's, offered Nathan a spot on the academy team. It is to support Little Leagues and to give kids a taste of travel ball. Nathan was very excited about this prospect. For the first few weeks, he was only able to do limited work as his finger was still broken. Fortunately toward the end of the season, he was able to participate fully.
Here he is in his full uniform, wearing it so very proudly. He is #27, after his favorite player, Mike Trout of the Angels.
It is not well seen on these pictures but his team colors are purple and black. I tell you, we spent more money on his baseball clothes than his regular. Baseball season is spendy.
This was the little cast Nathan got to hold his broken finger still. It went over a smaller finger cast. It is what made all the difference for him. Prior to getting this, he was in agony.
He wanted me to take an extra picture of the front and back of his hat. :-)
Nathan had a great time and made new friends. He had two tournaments we traveled to, one 4 hours away, another just 1 hour away. The first one the girls had a hard time because the weather was horrible. The second they did great as we were inside. New coloring books, markers and puzzles kept them well entertained. David and I got a real sense of the community within the club. We really enjoyed it and I caught the baseball bug or the season.
Nathan did great in his games. Although he was one of the younger players, unless he was sitting on the bench, his coach Gregg used him in key positions. He also let Nathan pitch for two innings where Nathan did really well. He allowed two unearned runs during his pitching (so I guess technically he didn't allow them??).
The most memorable event of the two trips for me was when we went into our first hotel, Hannah had a blast running around the room for the first hour just squealing in delight. My least favorite? Cramming six people into two beds.
The verdict. I could see us doing travel ball but there are a lot of things to consider. Would the girls enjoy it? The cost. The additional cost of the hotels, etc. Do I want to invest in something where it is out of our control if this is a long-term commitment? (Kids have to try out every year and if Nathan doesn't make the cut, we could be out, no matter how many years we've been with the club.) If it was up to Nathan, he would start this year. He definitely has stars in his eyes. The pros about travel ball? Of course it is a whole different level of baseball compared to our beloved Little League. You get to travel (which can be bad or good) which might be really fun once we are homeschooling, aka always being home. As for right now, it was a neat experience. Overall, it was a really neat experience that really helps Nathan with his Little League season, especially after having a broken finger and not being able to condition through wrestling. Finances and Nathan's talent permitting, we may do the academy team again to keep Nathan baseball sharp in the off-season.