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An Unexpected Benefit of Kids' Team Sports

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Reconnecting After 17 Years


The phone rang and my husband answered.  "Yes," he said, "I am the husband of Pam Carey.  Who is this?"


(Pause.)  "Sorry, I don't recognize the name."


We were getting used to that kind of call, since the publication of my book, MINOR LEAGUE MOM:  A MOTHER'S JOURNEY THROUGH THE RED SOX FARM TEAMS.  Community events people called to book a signing/presentation; publicists called to enlist me as a client.


"Just a minute," Charley said, "I'll give her the phone."


"Hello?" I inquired.


"Hi!  This is Becky Kaczman, and you don't know me, but I have just read your book and have a 10-year-old boy playing baseball in a league on Hillsboro Boulevard.  I wanted to connect with you because my son's team is coached by Marty Durkin, and he is mentioned in your book!"


Here's what happened next:  Charley and I made a trip to the baseball fields down Hillsboro Boulevard, in Florida, about thirty minutes from where we live.  We wanted to see the coach of a kid we didn't even know.  Why?  Because of our fond memories of the years our sons played pro baseball with Marty Durkin during Red Sox spring training and Florida State games; because of the many hours we spent in the stands with his parents, huge baseball nuts and supportive parents; because of the memory of one huge spread, complete with Honeybaked Ham and all the fixin's, that Marty's mom put out at their house in Ft. Lauderdale for our Red Sox team and parents; and because of this mom, Becky, who was now living my life and trying to surprise her son's coach with our appearance.


Marty's team got clobbered, but we didn't care.  Our surprise visit was special - seeing his wife again, meeting his middle son, talking about minor league days and where everyone was now.  We threw names of former players around that we've seen or kept in touch with.  We talked about Marty's three sons, who all play baseball, and about his parents, who still live in the same house and are allowing Marty's oldest son to live with them so he can attend Cardinal Gibbons High School, to play on the same team as his dad. 


If anyone were to ask me the benefits of our kids' participation on a sports team, I would probably not list reunions high on the list.  But for several hours last weekend, it was right up there at the top.  And Marty had even purchased his own copy of my book!  Thanks, Becky!