I had never been to the Junior College World Series before last year, but no parent of three boys is ever going to get away with saying that for long, not in Grand Junction, where JUCO is the place to be every first week of summer.
Tuesday night I took some of the Jayhawks dressed in their Little League uniforms to the game. JUCO is 7-year-old heaven. People high-five them for being little players. They eat Dippin' Dots and snow cones until they want to barf. They dance like nobody's watching and they scream at the top of their lungs. Seriously, they do not stop screaming the entire time.
"HEY, WHAT IF THAT GUY HAD A JET-PACK AND THEN THEY ALL HAD JET-PACKS AND WHEN THEY HIT A HOMERUN HE'D FLY UP IN THE AIR AND CATCH IT AND THAT GUY WOULD BE OOOOUUUTT!"
"Uh, okay, who are we rooting for?"
The game was Kansas vs. South Carolina.
The Jayhawks were gonna root for Kansas, of course.
So they cheered, and they ate, and they yelled really loudly for hours. Kansas lost and every kid in the stands mobbed the winning team.
The fact Neosho lost didn't matter a single bit to Soren. He spent his last dollar on a black sharpie and stood outside the Kansas dugout waiting for HIS players. When they emerged, they were obviously downtrodden. But there was one kid in blue Jayhawks uniform begging for their autographs on his glove.
"Hey look, I'm a Jayhawk, they're from Kansas, like you, so I was going for you guys. Will you sign my glove?"
Andy they did.
It's his most prized possession at the moment.
I want to thank those Neosho players for taking just a minute to sign my kid's glove, pat him on the head, and call him buddy.
I guess it shows once again, that baseball isn't necessarily about winning or losing, it's about the experience.
I hope all the JUCO players have the time of their life — I know my kid did!