Who smacked one right over the fence during his first fall season baseball game?
The guy with the huge smile on his face, relishing the moment of a dream-come-true???
That's Maria's son/my nephew Wyatt...our very own Gator guy.
The weekend Barb and I were visiting Maria just happened to be the opening of the fall baseball season for the Florida Gators.
So, of course, a day at the beautiful new Gator stadium was on our agenda! Maria, deservedly so, is very proud of Wyatt...as is our whole family!
Three rowdy fans ready for some Gator baseball!
The new ballpark just opened in 2020, so before the double-header began we walked around the nice new facility.
Wyatt was totally oblivious to our presence...he always has on his game face at the ballpark.
Such a handsome, well-mannered, smart All-American young man!
We were excited to see that he was in the starting lineup as the designated hitter! Florida is always one of the top college baseball teams in the nation, and the team itself is filled with all-star players. So making the starting lineup is a huge deal!
Wyatt made the most of his opportunity, promptly hitting a solid single...
...but unfortunately the next batter hit into a fielder's choice and Wyatt was thrown out at second.
Next time up, he hit a double! Way to go, Wyatt!!!
Meanwhile, Wyatt's fan club was getting hungry. We were sitting a few rows behind the dugout, and a group of kids had just left after raiding the concession stand, only adding to our hunger pangs.
Barb kept eyeing what they left behind, thinking what a waste to just eat the top off a muffin and leave the rest as trash! Had it not been for Maria and me restraining her, she would've gone right down there and finished up that muffin herself. We were brought up in a family where it is a sin to waste food.
Maria finally convinced Barb to go to the concession stand themselves and get their own snacks. And while they were gone, I did a further examination of the muffin in question...
That was no blueberry muffin at all!
Oh Barb...she always gives us something to laugh about!
Back to Wyatt and the game...
He is also a great teammate, always encouraging others and celebrating their success as well.
In an atmosphere where there is so much competition amongst teammates for playing time, it is good to see the comraderie Wyatt has with the others.
While Wyatt was getting ready for his next at-bat,...
...we looked up to see this gorgeous flock of egrets flying past the stadium.
A good omen...you know, white things flying high in the sky....
...just like that little white ball that Wyatt promptly cranked out of the park!
That is pure joy, right there!
I wish I had gotten a photo of his momma Maria smiling through her tears. That homerun, his first ever in a Gator ballgame, was the result of years and years of hard work and dedication, laundering plenty of sweaty uniforms, driving him to countless practices, clinics, camps, and tournaments. And yes, even more than a few tears along the way. Wyatt has dreamed of playing baseball for the Florida Gators since his first year of Little League, and to see the culmination of all of those practices and tournaments and frustrations play out so gloriously in front of us was truly a dream-come-true.
Not only for Wyatt, but also for Maria. It was such a happy and exciting moment, and I'm so glad Barb and I were there to share it with her...
...and with our Gator guy.