Last Saturday morning. My sons Little League game was 10 a.m. Riddle Field. I was dead tired from a long week, so my plan was to arrive at the field right about 10 a.m. But at 8:30 a.m. my wife rousted us. We were needed at Riddle Field to help prep the field due to the heavy rain that night. We live close to Riddle Field, so there was no (good) excuse and I didn’t have a choice anyway. We jetted down to the field. When we got there several Laguna coaches and a half dozen dads were working away on the wet field, tracks and muddy dugouts.
Knowing nothing about how to prep a baseball field, I jumped on the hard-to-mess-up task of shoveling dirt into a wheelbarrow, filling in muddy spots on the outfield tracks and raking it in. One of the coaches was using an ATV to drag the infield over and over, others cleaning out the dugouts, getting the bases set and chalking the lines while our kids started to warm up on the left field side. The field was coming together nicely.
It was getting close to game time and the visiting team from Laguna Hills was coming onto the right field side to warm up. They looked like a very well tuned unit (not good). I was returning a wheelbarrow to the shed near their warmups when one of the Laguna Hills coaches enthusiastically said to his team, “have you guys ever played here?” The kids didn’t say much. They looked tired. The coach said, “this is the best little league field in Orange County.” The statement clearly perked up the visiting team (not good).
It was a good back and forth game. Team Sports World scored five runs in the first inning and had several great plays, but the Laguna Hills team won.
After the game the sun was out, it was warm and the Riddle Field experience was in full force with kids goofing around on the basketball courts as groups of people were coming and going from the park between games. As the Laguna Hills coaches and players were leaving the park every coach stopped to shake hands and express thanks for helping to get the field in order. They all also remarked about what a great place Riddle Field is for Little League.
Not a bad way to start the weekend. The long workweek was a distant memory…
Rob Lloyd, Laguna Beach