Sloan concluded her 2023 Spokane Indians Youth Baseball (SIYB) t-ball season last week. Her second season playing “ball” was a little different than her first so I thought I would chronicle the five themes unique to her time with the Red Pandas. Let’s do it…
“Friendly” Team – Last year was special because Sloan played with her cousin. But to make the arrangement work, we had to drive far up north for every practice and game. This year we decided to stay closer to the Spokane Valley and because of that Sloan landed on a team with a lot of her friends from school. Five of Sloan’s Red Panda teammates are in her Kindergarten class which made things a lot of fun.
Fans – Besides Sid, Beau, and I cheering on Sloan each game, she had other special fans show up at the ball field as well. My parents alternated between my nephew’s games and Sloan’s games which allowed them to catch half of her schedule. My brother also came out to support his niece and play a little catch. For the last game, our family friend, Kailey, came out to surprise Sloan. It was great to have so many people cheering our ball player on.
First Base Coach – I was delighted when Coach Bob asked me to coach first base for the Red Pandas. This opportunity allowed me to get to know each kid on the team pretty well. Trust me, the many conversations I had with the players when they reached first base were priceless. Although the interaction I had with the children was the best part, I also enjoyed offering encouragement, exchanging high fives, and providing base path instruction.
Hardware – Playing for the Red Pandas resulted in Sloan earning her first ever trophy. Sure, it was a participation trophy but it definitely made her feel special to receive it. The trophy is currently proudly displayed in a prominent spot in her room.
Fantastic Coaches – We were extremely lucky to have Coach Bob and Coach Shauna lead the team. They approached the season with plenty of organization, enthusiasm, and patience. They did so many special “extras” such as putting the names of the kids on the back of their jerseys, bringing water to every practice/game, buying the team trophies, throwing an end-of-season pizza party, and more. They injected an abundance of positive energy to the Red Pandas!
Congrats to Sloan for taking her t-ball commitment seriously by making every practice and game. We really enjoyed watching her play but will appreciate having a couple days back in the week 😊 Don’t Blink.