Do You Want To Play Too?

It was a cold spring day in Orono, Maine. The forecast was grim and gray. The UMaine Baseball team had a Sunday doubleheader scheduled for the day. We had been outside for batting practice and we’re glad to be back in the warmth of the locker room. The weather forecast showed several rain systems coming our way but it still wasn’t raining hard enough to cancel the games.

The locker room smelled of McDonald’s egg and cheese breakfast sandwiches, sweat, and gas; a pretty lethal combination for the average human! Everyone was wearing old grass-stained baseball pants, sweaty grey shirts, blue socks, and under-armor gear.

As we warmed-up, a couple of my teammates made a “Rain Turtle” which consisted of ten small rocks shaped as a turtle which had “magic powers” in canceling games. Baseball players are a bit superstitious!

I sat in my locker watching and listening to my teammates around me. Some were making plans for the potential day-off. This included eating chicken and pepperoni pizza at Pat’s Pizza, hanging out at the Bangor Mall, or getting a workout in at the gym.

Then, I heard Mike Livulpi yell out, “I WANT TO PLAY!”

Mike was our senior center-fielder from New York, with an accent and an attitude that proudly displayed his empire state of mind. With nearly everyone praying for rain, Mike didn’t care if it was raining or not, whether his hands would be numb while trying to hit a fastball in the high eighties. He wanted to play! I loved that about him.

Because Mike wanted to play, it made me want to play.

With Springtime coming to Maine and baseball right around the corner it got me thinking about Mike, this moment, and more recently a teacher I work with every day.

Currently, I spend my mornings with one of the world’s most wonderful first-grade teacher- Ms. Chido. She’s the kind of teacher and person you hope your child has in school. She’s smart, prepared, confident, and loves what she does- teach kids!

Her enthusiasm for teaching gets me excited about the work that we do in the classroom helping kids build strong foundations each and every day.

Like Mike, Ms. Chido always wants to play!

Simon WilliamsComment