Time Out: May 29, 2013

Maybe the Margaretville baseball team should start a four-man band. Music and baseball intercepted for a second time this spring during Margaretville’s opening round of the Section IV baseball championship. By chance, the baseball game fell on the same night as the MCS vocal concert, and two of the Blue Devils, Colby Russo and Danny Conroy, were slated to sing solos.
I asked Margaretville Athletic Director Jeremey Marks if he could see if Milford would agree to move the game forward enough to assure the boys could take part in both activities. Try as he might, Marks could only get Milford to concede a half hour and that time was almost entirely wiped out when the umpires couldn’t adjust their work schedules to arrive at the new time.

Eight is enough
Earlier in the season, we had finished a home contest with Roxbury with only eight players on the field to release boys for a band concert at MCS. That was a non-league baseball game. Tuesday was a Section IV play-off game. I spent two sleepless nights wrestling with what to do.

The facts are Colby and Danny played for two teams, one my baseball team and the other the MCS chorus. Both our baseball team and the chorus were depending on the guys. Tuesday’s baseball game was our 15th of the spring. Tuesday’s vocal concert was the chorus’s major spring event. Some 35 chorus members singing background needed Colby and Danny to get their work done.

With that in mind I decided to drive behind the bus to Milford. Mr. Marks got permission from the boys’ parents allowing me to drive the guys back from the game to make the concert. I announced to the team before the game that at 6:15 p.m. sharp, no matter what the situation, I would take Colby and Danny back to school for the concert. I urged them to play speed up baseball rules and do their work quickly.

Tough choices
Although I knew the guys were antsy with that decision, I was comfortable with my choice. It may be because kids today have so many more options than my generation had when we were kids or it may be that most parents when I grew up lived by the principle, “When you start something you finish it. Period!” Whatever, the reason, it troubles me that in many cases that lesson is ignored in modern times. Too many kids with the support of too many parents pull up the stakes of the tent and take their game home the first time they run into difficulty. No consideration is given to the folks they let down when they do.

On the clock
As it worked out, the game took shape with blazing efficiency. Colby was the star of the moment, getting a big hit in the seventh inning and making a great defensive play to record the last out of the game. By 5:55 p.m. the contest was done, and the guys closed the concert with their solo number in Margaretville. Sometimes the cards spill out of the deck on your good side.

Even if they hadn’t, I hope the decision to try to balance commitments between both events sent a message to the guys on the baseball team and the kids in the chorus. Colby and Danny had a commitment to two teams and it was important, that as best as we could, we try to allow them to honor their commitments to both. That, not our upset baseball win over Milford, was the real victory on Tuesday.