At nine years old I didn't want to make my Little League team only because my Dad was the coach. I wanted to be good enough. To me that meant I needed to be able to catch a fly ball. So one bright sunny spring morning in the small community of Friendship, OH (Southern OH) my Dad took me to the ballpark after working all night being an Engineer (driving coal on trains from the West Virginia mountains to the barges on the Ohio River). After about 5 minutes of playing catch he sent me into right field to work on those fly balls. After a few feeble attempts from Dad to hit a fly ball he finally got one where he wanted it. Or so e thought! I did exactly what he and I wanted. I saw it go up into the deep blue sky and then it was as if the heavens opened up. I saw a overwhelming brightness. Yep! That's right, right into the sun. I guess we should have gone over how to catch a ball in the sun first.
I caught it alright. Right in the eye socket. After a hollow sounding "conk," (or so it sounded to me) down I went. No amount of toughness created by being the youngest of three brothers was gonna keep this kid from crying my eyes out. Down I went and I curled up in the fetal position.
Dad hustled out and he felt awful. He said "Aaron, you don't have to catch fly balls and you don't have to ever play this game again." I got back up and said "I want to be able to catch a fly ball."
As it turns out, I ended up being a Little League All-Star, High School All-State, Collegiate Player and made a part time job out of doing what I love. Coaching youth and helping them overcome their same fears and helping them make their dreams come true.
as Paul Harvey would say " you know the rest of the story."