Summer Essay: Batter Up!

Summer Essay: Batter Up!

Ted Perry shares a Milwaukee story about spending summers in the first-base coaching box.

For the last five summers, I’ve been the assistant to the freshman baseball coach at Whitefish Bay High School. I am a man who knows his place – and that place is the first-base coaching box. My primary responsibilities included making sure my runners didn’t get picked off and schmoozing the umps.

High school freshmen either have a cockiness they haven’t earned or an insecurity they don’t deserve. My job: File down the former and erase the latter.

I’m taking this summer off coaching. I’ll miss throwing early morning batting practice when the summer air is still cool, the excitement a player has when he drives in a run and even the road trips.

My favorite away game is Kewaskum, where the diamond sits right next to a small swimming pond.

I won’t miss the music. The worst was the summer of 2012. I had to hear “Call Me, Maybe” close to 10,000 times while my players tried to choreograph a routine that would turn them into YouTube sensations. It did not.

Yup, I already miss it and may ask for my job back in summer of 2017. Looking for help? Call me, Coach, maybe.

‘Batter Up!’ is party of the essay collection, “True Stories,” which appears in the 2016 City Guide issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

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