Antioch, CA is a beautiful place to start a Little League baseball career. The warm sun on your back as you step up to the plate, the cool breeze ruffling the grass in the outfield…it’s enough to make any eight-year-old feel like Babe Ruth. And as a young boy, scuffing my cleats against the dirt and squinting at the pitcher’s mound, I had big dreams of playing like Babe Ruth.
Early on, I was pretty good. I started every game, and batted in the top half of the lineup. I played with confidence and left each game feeling satisfied and successful.
But as I aged up, the competition got tougher. I began to struggle at the plate. The pitchers were bigger, the ball moved faster, and the players who worked regularly to improve their game took my starting spot. When I did play, I batted near the bottom of the lineup.