Kellan, Family & Baseball

With Kellan’s due date falling in Mid-July, we did not plan to go to any baseball games in July.  We actually did end up going to one game (for which an entry is still forthcoming).  But for the most part, July was all about spending time at home with our new boy and lots of visiting family members.

But that didn’t mean there wasn’t a lot of baseball for us in July.  Indeed, there was.  Lots.

My mom came out to stay with us starting on July 2nd, so she would be here to take care of Tim while Colleen and I were at the hospital for Kellan’s birth.  It ended up that she was with us almost all month (and was joined by my Dad the day after Kellan was born).  My mom had never been to one of my softball games.  However, being here for a month she was able to attend four of my games…

softballsingle…and we won them all, which was good enough to finish the regular season with a 8-4 record and qualify us for the playoffs.

Finally, on July 16th, Kellan was born.  By strategically wearing a spring training t-shirt to the hospital, I made sure that Kellan was introduced to the Seattle Mariners in (literally) the first minute of his life…

KellanDadMarinersShirt.jpg…the main picture there is the first picture of me holding Kellan, just shortly after his birth.  The inset picture shows that I, indeed, am sporting a Mariners shirt.  It was actually Colleen’s idea for me to wear this specific shirt for Kellan’s birth.  Good call!

July 18th was a big day for baseball.  Kellan and I posed for a special picture…

Kell-in-glove…that I had also done with Tim when he was a couple days old.

Next, my Dad and Tim hung out in the shop with me while I made Kellan’s first baseball bat:

kellan's first batLater in the day, Kellan got in on his first little game of family catch in the back yard…

four way catch…using some of Tim’s practice whiffle balls.

Finally, with a lot of attention going to the new guy in town, Grandpa gave Tim a special big brother gift…

new ichi helmet and new brother…a new Ichiro helmet, which Tim loves.

The next day, July 19th, I gave Kellan his finished 20-inch bat..

IMG_8454.JPG…which I made to match Tim’s first bat:

IMG_8457.JPGNow, one sad thing about July 2010 is the play of the Seattle Mariners.  In fact, for Kellan’s first month of life, the Mariners tied the worst month in their history with 22 losses.  Even though Felix Hernandez pitched the day Kellan was born, the Mariners could not earn Kellan the first-day-of-life victory that I wanted for my boy.

My mom and I watched pretty much every game this month.  She got a taste of how difficult it is when your team’s games start at 10:05 p.m. almost every day.

On July 21st, I snapped this picture showing Kellan going crazy in the post-game celebration following the second Mariners win of his life:

mariners win july 22.JPGFinally, during the weekend of July 24th-25th, the boys’ cousins, Gill and Kate, came to visit (along with Aunt Kimberly and Colleen’s cousin, Geralyn).  I decided that I needed to do something big to ensure the kids would have a fun weekend.

I decided to bring back Mariners Park at Cook Yards:

Cook Yards from Upper Deck Panorama.jpgTim and I pretty much always have a home plate and bases set up in the back yards.  But what sets Mariners Park at Cook Yards apart from the usual is the:

  1. “Chalked” 25-foot baselines (actually spray paint);
  2. “Chalked” batters’ box;
  3. Homerun distance markers on the outfield walls (dimensions: LF – 41′, LF gap – 45′, LCF – 50′, Deep CF – 63′, RF gap – 51′, and RF – 40′);
  4. “Chalked” coaches boxes in 1B and 3B foul territory;
  5. “Chalked” on deck circle (Featuring C&S logo); and
  6. Two tiered outfield fan seating (on field and BBQ deck seating).

Here were the main participants…

DSC06049.JPG…that’s Kate, Gill and Tim.  Also playing the field and taking hacks were:  Todd, Grandpa, Aunt Kimberly and our neighbor, Sarah.

The first batter in each round was Tim’s oldest cousin, Gill…

DSC06063.JPG…who is a fan of the run-with-the-bat technique.  Historically, Gill hasn’t been a baseball guy.  But the last two visits to our house, he’s had a lot of fun playing ball with Tim.  He was a big fan of hitting, running the bases, and scoring runs.  Hey, why not?  They’re all good stuff.

Gill is six years old and almost exactly two years older than Tim.  His younger sister, Kate, is 3 and about 9 months younger than Tim.  Kate isn’t quite ready to hit live pitching, but she can rip some liners off of the batting tee…

DSC06102.JPG…here, Kate is using the tee that I made Tim when he was one (right about the time he learned to stand).  However, she really prefers a “human tee,” which I provided for her:

IMG_8694.JPGOf course, Tim got his hacks in too…

DSC06130.JPG…and there was a lot of baserunning:

Cook Yards home plate panorama.jpgIf any universal truths can be derived from watching a sample of only three children playing baseball, I think it would be this:

All kids love running the bases and being chased by a fielder (or chasing base runners with the ball), but no kids enjoy actually being tagged out:

DSC06077.JPGOnce the kids had hit enough, they even let the adults take some hacks:

IMG_8709.JPGAh, good times in the back yard.  Long live Mariners Park at Cook Yards!

So, it was a different month for us with only one MLB game, but it was a excellent month filled with great family time and lots of fun, and baseball.



  1. Txbaseballfan

    You know, I think I like the “away from the ballpark” baseball entries as much, if not more than, the game entries. Especially the ones that include family. I would give up any number of games at the ballpark for my own memories like these. You truly are a blessed man!


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