From Chicken Soup for the Father & Son Soul

The Giants

It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.

Vince Lombardi

My stepson was in his first year of T-ball. All the teams were named after professional teams. We lived in the San Diego area and our team was the Padres, so all the boys recognized the name. And by and large all their fathers, stepfathers, older brothers, and grandpas knew the Padres, as well as every other team in the majors.

The last practice before the first game was just coming to a close. The coach called the boys in to sit against the backstop. He handed out uniforms and gave the team last-minute instructions. He told them to wear their new uniforms and that they were playing the Giants in an 8:00 AM game. He told them to get there a half hour early to warm up, and he estimated how long the game would take. As he finished his instructions, the boys became uncharacteristically quiet. Dads on the scene wondered at this sudden stillness. The boys had always been so enthusiastic about every game.

Eventually, the coach noticed the subdued mood of the team, so he asked if they had any questions. The boys looked at one another as if to say, “You ask him.” The coach and dads looked at the boys as if to say, “What the heck’s going on here?”

Finally, one little boy, tears filling his eyes, asked, “How can we play giants? We’re just little kids!”

I’m sure more than one little boy stayed in the car the next morning until he saw at least one (pint-size) player from the “Giants.” And plenty of dads, those who hadn’t already heard, wondered what the heck was up with their sons.

Michael Fulton

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