I am putting this here, in hopes more guys get to see it and maybe gives the spirit here some real hard consideration
We have a Super Hero here in Green Cove Springs, he glides around left and right field at Clay High School. He has all the attributes that a Super Hero does; He has an alias, who is mild mannered, he has special powers that you’d never guess he had…I’ll explain,
I guess I met him nine years ago, he was one of those quiet guys on our 10u team, a skinny, quiet really nice kid…he got 2 innings and an at bat every game, at the plate, we hoped he didn’t get hit…encouraged him to swing and hoped for the best, I remember that I encouraged him with phrases like “I know you can do it Adam”, sometimes he got a walk, sometimes he struck out, rarely he weakly grounded. This went on through the 10yr old team and the 12 and under team. He was always there, and always getting his 2 innings (Right field you guessed it) and 1 at bat. Always sitting quietly on the bench ( I never saw him not smiling and pleasent and respectful and having fun). I think it was our 12 year old year when my son introduced me to one of his super talents…“Want to see what Adam can do dad?” I’m thinkin…uh oh I hope this has nothing to do with lizard ingestion…well ok I’m game…“what”? My son starts telling him to go ahead and do it…all of a sudden, Adam puts his hands behind his back and holds his hands together…and then takes and rotates them all the way around to the front and then takes them back around his back without letting go…I’m thinkin hummm freaky…Well I’ve always been a coach who gives out nicknames so immediately he became Adamo “The Amazing Elastic Boy”. And of course we soon wore out our pet trick…making him break it out upon request…he’d get this sorta bored look on his face and whip it out…pretty good for Green Cove…well anyway he’d do the trick, sit the bench and just kept showing up each year. Well our 13 year old year…first on the big field…here was Adam, skinny, uncoordinated but here…We had a 13 yr old All Star team and well we were short fill in guys (We are a small town only had 11 guys available), guys who could pinch run or sub an outfielder and sit the bench with a great attitude. It was this team in which I saw him angry for the first and only time…and of course it was at me. I figured that he had been around a while and could catch the ball in the outfield, so maybe if I worked with him, I might could get him to sub an infielder in an emergency…well after missing a couple of grounders, he looked at me with anger in his eyes and said “I’m an outfielder”…I’m thinkin…“Is this Adam?”, well ok your an outfielder…We always were happy to see him each year…he always whipped out the trick, but I’ve coached a long time and was always ready to hear that he had moved on to some other interest, a fond memory and with any luck, he’d be one of those that come back by to see after they moved on.
The year he tried out for the Jr High, I remember being so happy to see him working hard and being brave enough to take the chance of being shown up by the rest of the guys out there. He impressed me that he had put effort into his outfield, he started to glide under the ball and throw solid cutoff picks. He still had a weak bat and generally sat and smiled and had a great attitude that he was just happy to be there.
We figured, his freshman year that it would all catch up and he’d be in band or something…certainly wouldn’t make the team…I watched nearly all of the early practices and the try out…there was The Amazing Elastic Boy…hustling around in the outfield, gliding well to the ball and making some throws…lo and behold Adam made the JV squad, sat the bench, subbed here and there, mostly smiled, had a great attitude and was just happy to be there. I think it was that summer, in summer ball Adam got his first JV hit, weak single up the middle…he got picked off. It was that year when getting his big chance, Adam was in center, at The Bolles School (The school that brought us Chipper Jones), he went floating back on a deep fly (My son was pitching), caught the ball, tangled his feet, fell, snapped his wrist…well we all figured…here is where Adam was going to fall away from the game…I mean, sitting the bench, game after game, getting time measured in appearances per week…a great week was getting to pinch run once and get to play the last inning in right field! And now a broken wrist, when I saw him the next day at school, he had that sheepish grin, he told me he was embarressed that he fell, I told him I was proud of his effort and that it was a great catch that had saved the team some runs…He was unconvinced.
The next year was his second on JV, he got a few more chances to play, he started to put his bat on the ball but mostly was a back up and a pinch runner. His coach gave him an award I can’t remember the name of it, it recognized that he was the one with the best attitude.
As a junior, we hoped that somehow he would be allowed to play JV just one more year…just so he’d stay around, again I got to watch almost all of the pre-tryout practices and try-outs and there was Adam, workin with the outfielders. Hustling and gliding and making some throws, he had a weak bat (weak grounders), but didn’t strike out near as much as before. He sat the bench and smiled and got to pinch run and play the last inning in games and lo and behold Adam made the varsity…
This summer, Adam has a job, he works for the school board, pays for his gas and car insurance, he lead the summer squad in homers… :shock:
When I finally got to see him (My son was off playing prospect travel ball and we traveled with him) I just stood there and smiled at him, he looked at me and, with a grin said “what?”, I shook his hand and I said “You know what!!” I said “Adam you are an inspiration to me”, “I’m so proud of you and your efforts”…he just laughed and asked how Andy (My son) was. I asked him what he thought about as he went around the bases that first time…he just smiled and said he was just thinkin how great it felt. He then hustled off and joined his practise…
We got this Super Hero, he serves up humility, he witnesses perseverence, he inspires to follow your dream…We got Adamo The Amazing Elastic Boy…and he cruises left and right field for Clay High…I am honored to have told you all about him. He’s a Senior this year, God Bless him, it’s so humbling when our children grow to be better people than we are