Feeling a Little Lost? Follow that Burning Desire

As the World Series plays itself out, I thought I’d share a tale relatable to the sport of baseball and tangentially bearing on our wonderful, whacky world of printing.

I am coaching my son’s “fall ball” baseball team, which is also drawing to a close in the next week or so. My boy, Sean, is not a particularly skilled player, but can occasionally smoke the ball deep into the outfield. Got a quick bat for a slow fella, but can’t lay off the high heat. Defensively…ehhh. Sean plays because his dad coaches. He seems happy with that lot in his 12-year-old life. The smart phone, xbox, Wii system, video games in general…this is where his passion lies. He cried the day Steve Jobs died. I’m not kidding. He longs for a tech future. And, that’s just the way it is, no matter how much I plea to the heavens for him to take more of an interest in sports.

Then there’s Colton. His father works in sales for a commercial print shop in South Jersey. A late addition to our team, the Baseball Gods blessed me and punished Colton with his assignment to Team Four, baseball’s version of the Island of Misfit Toys. OK, that sounds mean; they’re all lovable, well-adjusted, nice kids. But most of our players were at the minor league level this past spring, while the other fall ball teams have a healthy mixture of kids with majors and minors experience, so there’s a maturity and talent disparity. Team Four is developing, just not quick enough.

Which brings us to Colton, who despite being all of 10 years of age, is an old soul. More accurately, he has a baseball soul. You can see this soul through a person’s eyes: The stoic gaze, sometimes a borderline sneer—like Brutus probably wore when he found the spot to plunge his knife into Caesar—the calm veneer masking the white powdery trail that leads to a keg of dynamite. Certain foods taste better when it’s either hot or cold. The perfect temperature for enjoying baseball is intensity. And every game is a buffet for Colton.

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