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Unlikely Band of Misfits Create Youth Baseball Team

baseball swing, some rights reserved, http://flickr.com/photos/psycho-pics/2592093693/Baton Rouge, LA – The sun is shining on the baseball diamond at Shaker’s Field this morning where a group of school children found themselves miserably defeated yesterday. The rag tag assortment of kids, through teamwork and love, overcame all odds and learned the true meaning of friendship. Except they lost. Brutally. 23 to 0. They didn’t stand a chance. The other team, the Rockets, was a well-oiled machine, the players appearing to be cookie cutter versions of one super-player: strong and mean, the tallest kid in the sixth grade. Except their were eleven of them!

Our home team, the Opossums, on the other hand is made up of: Larry, the gangly bespectabled nerdling, Archie, the fat one; Sarah, the girl, Tommy, the wheelchair bound, Jake, the jokester, Sam, the bully with a heart of gold and there’s some others too. These unlikely comrades, over an indeterminate amount of time that was filled with trials and triumphs, learned to set aside their differences and overcome all odds. Or at least the odds that said they would overcome the odds and win.

Some may chalk up the Opossums monumental loss to the fact that none of the members had any formal training, or even a basic knowledge of the conventions of baseball. Others point the finger at the coach, an incompetent alcoholic with a bitter distaste for children. Still others lay blame on the fact that the other team was really really good.

The game, which can more accurately be described as a beating, lasted only one hour and five minutes. Fifty nine minutes of which was spent in a steady rain. One glimmer of hope appeared near the bottom of the seventh inning when Jake hit a ball deep into left field and began to run like a man possessed by drunk Irish demons. He made it round first, then second, then third, and five feet from home plate he slipped in the mud, landing face down and remaining there until he was tagged out by the opposing team.

In the stands, another drama was unfolding. Several groupings of parents, in what has become almost typical for youth baseball leagues, were enthusiastically cheering and jeering. They seemed to be more emotionally involved that their children, yelling at the umpire and coach, cursing and throwing garbage at certain intense moments. But when this reporter dug a little deeper, she realized that an overwhelming number of the parents were routing for The Rockets – far more than made sense based on the size of the visiting team.

When asked who their child was, I found again and again that parents of Opossum players were rooting against their own children. “It just doesn’t make sense to root for ‘em,” said Mr. Sandoval, Sarah’s father, “no way they could win.” “They’re just a band of misfits- their winning is incredibly unlikely,” said another parent who wished to remain nameless.

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