Last week, I wrote about attending a youth baseball game in Evanston. I really had a blast watching the action and interviewing a couple of the young players after the game.
When the Lincolnwood team saw that story in the Skokie Patch, they invited me back for their final game on Saturday in Lincolnwood. How could I refuse?
This time though, they put me to work. Oh who am I kidding?! I loved helping Coach Harry Konstantopoulos with fielding practice. Coach Louie Atsaves even let me pound in the pitching rubber.
Despite it being the last game of the season and despite the cold temperature, both teams played with spirit and focus. It was a tough battle, with the Evanston team edging out Lincolnwood by a couple runs. Better luck next year, boys!
I figured I would get a few season-ending interviews. I talked to Peter and Christopher Atsaves again, along with Niko Konstantopoulos (Coach Harry’s son), Jack Shimabukuro and Steven Agos.
I love the spirit of these boys. I appreciate the respect they showed me as an interviewer. I like how the boys brought up school, reading and exercise. I was surprised at how they went from gritty little ballplayers to insightful young lads after the game. I am so impressed with their maturity. They played hard until the game (and season) ended. Then they were ready to move on.
While I was interviewing these boys, Coach Harry's younger son Alex watched intently. Alex plays on a younger kids’ team elsewhere. I couldn’t resist asking him for a quick interview. Again, for such a young little ballplayer, he gave better answers than some professionals I have interviewed.
Their baseball season is over, but I promised to come out next season. I can’t pass up this fun.
Before I end, I would like to congratulate Coach Harry and Coach Louie on doing an outstanding job coaching these boys and molding them into fine youngsters. The boys should also be applauded for listening, trying and learning. As for me, I am just grateful to have had an insider’s look. Now where is that ice cream they promised me?