It's no secret: we're a baseball-loving family.
We took a road trip two weeks ago to Sacramento, Calif. so we could watch some minor league baseball. The Fresno Grizzlies, the SF Giants Triple-A team, played the Sacramento River Cats (Oakland A's).
We also wanted to see this kid before he got called up to the bigs:
Guess what? Three days after the game, he was in a San Francisco Giants uniform and sitting in the dugout at AT&T park.
We've been following Buster Posey since he was drafted by the Giants last year, right out of college. We all enjoyed watching him with the San Jose Giants in the spring; he's so full of energy, so focused. He can do just about anything on the field. He's polite, modest and conducts himself with a level of sportsmanship that you just don't see too often in the game.
When Buster was called up by the Giants, Seven was jubilant. And every single morning, Seven would read the Sporting Green and read me any quotes or information about him. Because now, we're all fans of Buster Posey. And up until last Friday, September 11, we were all waiting for him to play in his first MLB game.
We were there when the Giants lost to the Dodgers. Only we left half an inning before Buster was called in to catch. We got in the car, turned on the radio, only to hear that Buster was suiting up in catcher's gear for his first MLB appearance.
I was upset that we missed it in person. It was a true baseball fan/SF Giant moment. But then Buster was on the field and I was cheering for him as if he were my own kid. My heart was in my throat, so excited to witness — even if over the airwaves — this young man with so much potential make his major league debut. I was beside myself with pride.
Buster Posey is 22 years old. Seven is inspired by Buster, moreso since he met him when we were in Sacramento. I think Buster's achievements at such a young age make Seven feel like his own current dream of playing pro ball could really happen.
But when I see Buster Posey, I see my boys.
I watch Buster Posey play and imagine the pride his parents must feel. The joy of watching their son play ball. To see their kid as the hope and future of an entire team. The promise of what will be. And my heart can't help but fill with the same pride and joy. (Followed by the prayer that you hope this kid doesn't get hurt or do something stupid off the field.)
Seven and Q. love baseball now, and they may someday decide they never want to play again. While I think my heart will slightly break if that day comes, I'm okay with it. But right now, in September 2009, Buster Posey makes the dream of baseball real for them.
And given how many ballplayers we question for their authenticity and sportsmanship in the MLB, I can't think of a better gentleman — aside from their own dad, of course — for my kids to watch play the game.