Be Afraid or Be Ye Brave! When life's pace quickened and the age of innocence became the "dawning of learning" it was by the minstrels hand or the educators stern "pay attention" rapping of his teaching stick.
Little Johnny knew very little about such goings on until about the time he became a team player as one of the baseball sixth graders. Outgrowing his being a small fry and before his teen years, his age-of-awakening was upon him.
Listening to the late at night tale told by an older Aunt whispering about the headless horseman and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," it might be scary but he was eager to learn.
The innocence of the young carefree days was waning and the lessons of life and all of learning seemed to become more intense, but baseball became much more important than the reciting of the poem, "October's Bright Blue Weather."
To baseball sixth graders, it was always hurry up recess and batter up. Confusion seemed to haunt everything especially since pretty-girls were getting much prettier and speech in their presence became just stammering and blushing.
What was a boy to do? He and his buddies would run from the giggles and start their game of baseball. This was the Age-Of-Awakening.
The baseball playing sixth grade boys tried to hide their fright of the fairer sex pretty-girls by playing their game of baseball. When Tommy made that dead out running catch of a well tagged hit, the boys would yell, "Atta boy, Tommy!"
The pretty-girls on the far side of the playground would silently swoon and whisper, "That's my hero." These boys, being baseball sixth grader rousers, were fast becoming the most learned group of all The Ages.
Baseball playing would continue for a lifetime and shyness around girls would last only for a fleeting time. Come Junior High things begin to really change.
The Awakening and the Age-of-Innocence saw the ending of Little League Baseball. Gone was the recess period of grammar school, Junior High here we are, ready or not.
Things began to change. The bravest of the lot would even hold a girls hand but the passion of playing baseball or even football already had a head start.
Baseball was no longer little league baseball. It was Pony League and then American Legion Junior League. Many of us grew up with baseball shielding us from the embarassment of a girls winsome smile being a distraction.
The last days of high school found those stammering and stumble footed youngsters changing into baseball playing heroes and gaining confidence to handle all of life's grand feelings with ease.
Our high school coach had a keen insight into the working minds of his young charges and he taught us to relax and not be intimidated by the opposite sex which he often referred to as those "soft ankles."
"Hey Boy! Pay attention, Get your mind away from those soft ankles."
This game of baseball has been a beneficial learning ground and provided a most supporting relationship for many young men. If not baseball then football, basketball, soccer or any sport so desired by the player.
Each competitive sport in it's own season allows boys and young men a perfect oasis to mature. If there is a similar parallel in lifes journey comparable to sports and young baseball sixth grader boys maturing and growing up, this ole ball player knows it not.
Corn growing in the fields on the farm, boys growing into young men on the ball diamonds, it is baseballfarming at its best.
The very essence of growing up and learning has been created on the playing fields of the world. No Crusade is required. The die has already been cast and the model for perpetual enlightment is only acceptance of the torch.
A lighted torch symbolizes many things, such as : truth, learning, wisdom, freedom, honesty, caring, and so on and so on.
The games and the competition are embedded so deeply into the fabric of America and our Great Nation, there is no Whoa Nellie!
As Keith Jackson so aptly describes a play beyond description, the game of baseball has provided this Country and now the World a game which is "Whoa Nellie" by anyones call.
The young baseball playing sixth graders boys during those formative years had no clue about how meaningful their game would become in their lives.
Play baseball, Love the competition. Enjoy the teamwork and share the happiness with all. It may be the game of baseball for the boys and softball for the girls but the thrill of the game is shared.
Those days of young boys sitting in the sixth grade cloak room pounding the pocket of a buddies baseball glove will follow a new generation. Pretty-girls growing from giggles to sweet smiles is also part of every boys growing up memories.
Baseball, which started fresh in the fields of Hoboken across the River from New York City by a Knickrbocker Baseball Club, provides a fate of destiny cherished by many generations of baseball sixth graders.
The game of baseball, now well into it's fourth generation, has no sign of loosing it's importance, for the baseball sixth graders, it was the age-of-awakening.
History, even now while having baseball as a companion, will continue its way of repeating itself over and over. History now can claim baseball as being one significant contributing cause for an "Age-Of-Awakening."
Baseball Sixth Graders is the basic part of the Little-League-Baseball and this Age-of-Awakening all starts to happen about the Sixth Grade with it comes the loyal fan support and Little League Baseball.
Worlds could collide and the Ocean could run dry but you get a bunch of baseball sixth graders on that Little League ball field and nothing is happening except that next pitch.
Batter Up----Let's Play Ball....
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