Baseball has been a true family event in our house. Jay helps coach, keeps the kids straight in the dug-out, handles the equipment and plays bat-boy (our favorite!). :) He throws the ball around with Travis endlessly and just spends hours and hours every week helping Travis with his skills.
I too, play catch with Travis sometimes, and as I learned just a few days ago...I am no longer man enough to play catch with my soon to be 9 year old! I have new found respect for our 1st baseman for catching the balls Travis throws him from 3rd base. Those things are SCREAMING (and accurate!) and if you by chance (ahem, which I am prone to do), do not catch the ball in "the pocket"...you will walk away with a painfully sore hand and feeling like you have broken a finger or two. Travis definitely has an arm on him! And Travis says to me as I wince in pain because I have once again, caught the ball, but not in the pocket: "Use the pocket mom. USE THE POCKET!". He's determined to make a ball player out of me yet. Although, currently, he says I'd rank in the outfield for my catching ability (I'll let you in on a secret...I'm scared of the balls he throws at me!).
While Travis' fielding ability has just gotten better and better, his hitting has not been up to his usual level. He has a certain goal that he is working diligently for, and in order to reach it, he HAS to get his hitting back up to speed (he DID recently hit an awesome home run, but overall, his hitting has been come and go this season). So..we have been spending countless hours not only throwing him grounders but working with him on hitting as well. And as you can see, even Riley helps out!
He loves to collect the balls, and refill the machine.
See him back there, getting the one's that Travis didn't hit? (Disclaimer: they are small, foam balls, not true baseballs that are shooting out of this machine, so Riley is in NO danger back there! Disclaimer2: When your 2 year old puts balls AND a handful of mulch into the machine, make sure you turn the machine off before you reach in to remove the mulch. The balls shooting at you at point blank range, DO sting a little. Not that I would know or anything ;)
"I catch like Travis!"
Travis is so excited Riley has his own glove and ball now. And has worked with him patiently on catching!