There are very few things in my life that have been harder to accomplish than hitting a round ball with a round stick.
However there aren’t many things that compare to that level of accomplishment either. For me, it is this sense of reward that fuels my desire for the game of baseball. It’s the satisfaction of knowing I’ve given my all to a sport that is so difficult, and the relationships I’ve made with coaches and players that make the ‘grind’ so much more worth it.
Whether it was a tee-ball practice at age 6, or a varsity playoff game at age 17, there has never been a time when everything I was doing as a baseball player was perfect. And, to be completely honest, I think this part of the game has contributed more to my life than anything else.
In a game where succeeding 3 out of 10 times is considered ‘doing well,’ failure is something I’ve dealt with often. Whether fielding or batting, no one is perfect. This is a foundational aspect to the game of baseball, and to life itself.
However this doesn’t mean that we who take up this sport aren’t striving to be perfect. It just simply means we learn to deal with this reality. It means you always have something to be working towards, and that no matter what, you can always be better. For me, learning to deal with the struggles of baseball has taught me how to deal with the struggles of life.
Just as this game has taught me how to deal with the lows, it has taught me to enjoy every single moment. I can look back over the last 12 years of my life and vividly recall just about every ‘good game’ I’ve ever played. I still remember the exact moment when my U14 travel team won the final state championship game, and the pure happiness that lasted for about two weeks after.
If you don’t enjoy the good times then you can never expect to make it through the bad. There is absolutely no way I would have been able to play this game for so long if I didn’t remember and enjoy all of the amazing experiences I’ve had while playing.
Nothing compares to the times I’ve spent traveling with my teammates.
The absolute madness caused by 14 kids in a hotel pool is exactly the way I remember spending the best times of my childhood. Win or lose you could always guarantee the first place you would find me or any one of my teammates was in the pool.
Each team has introduced me to a great new group of friends. Kids from Denver to Grand Junction; and the best part may be that each one of them has the same level of passion for baseball as I do. Yet, all of them are friends I can count on for meaningful advice not just about baseball.
Now, I get to watch a lot of these friends continue to the collegiate level. As I prepare to do the same, their support has been incredible. I’m lucky to have earned the opportunity to play for at least 4 more years – starting next fall at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, CA.
In all honesty, baseball might be the most influential part of my life behind my parents. It’s taught me perseverance, determination, work ethic and much more – life skills that have made me a better person. Most importantly it’s been fun, and that is ultimately the point of playing a sport.
At the end of the day, I’m just grateful that I got to play.
Written by Dylan Lee, GWHS Class of 2019
Want to introduce your child to the sport of baseball?
Here is a rundown of Roaring Fork Valley Baseball Programs
Community Rec Department Programs (Aspen, Basalt, Carbondale & GWS)
(You may still have time to sign your child up for this summer –contact your rec department now.)
Pee Wee (ages 3-5. coed)
Tee-Ball (ages 5-6, coed)
Coach Pitch (ages 7-8, coed)
Softball (ages 8-10, 11-12, girls)
Baseball (ages 8-10, 11-12, coed)
Registration: by early May
Practices: begin end-of-May
Regular Season: June – July
(Aspen, Basalt, Carbondale, GWS and I-70 corridor from Vail to Gypsum) Competitive youth baseball and softball for boys and girls ages 8 to 14. TRLL is a nonprofit run by nearly 100 volunteers. TRLL is a chartered member of Little League International.
Reminders for next year:
Registration: by mid-February,
Sign up ends first week in March.
Practices: begin mid-March
Regular Season: April –May
All Stars: June – mid-July