Memories of summer

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 13, 2015

As All-Star season kicks off, it takes me back to some of the greatest times I remember having during my childhood.


Growing up, I spent most of my summers playing or watching my brother play on various All-Star teams, and it was always fun.


My age group never fared well in All-Star tournaments. We usually were put out in the district tournament, but my brother’s age group seemed to make it to state nearly every single year.


I remember going all over the state to watch them play. For Little League, I remember going to Huntsville for the state tournament. I remember swimming in the indoor pool thinking that was the coolest thing ever. We might have caused a little trouble while there, but what do you expect from 15, 11-and-12-year-olds running around. We felt like kings being set up in luxurious hotels. The world was our playground.


They had some good players from a young age, and they stuck with each other throughout the years. From the time they were 8 and 9 until the summer after they graduated high school, it was basically the same core group of guys.


During their final season of American Legion travel ball in the summer of 2004, they won the state championship. It was a great pleasure to watch that group celebrate a state championship after everything they had been through with each other. Simply put, it was special.


As parents, it’s a great sacrifice if you have children that play on All-Star or travel ball teams during the summer. Most of your free time is spent taking them to practice, or traveling all over the Southeast to play in tournaments every weekend.


It doesn’t leave much time for anything outside of baseball. Growing up, our family vacations consisted of going on baseball trips. We went to whatever was near the tournament we were at that weekend.


They are trips I will never forget and memories I will always cherish. Don’t look at it as a waste of a summer, but look at it as memories built with friends and family. These times and moments will fade away, but the memories last a lifetime. Soak in every moment, every victory, every defeat, every smile and every tear.