Finally. It's game day. Kind of.
The Alpine Bank NJCAA World Series, um...JUCO, finally began today. For everyone except us. After all of the fluff, which is great, but time consuming and exhausting, we finally got to do what we came here to do - watch everyone else in the tournament play. Oh wait, I mean play baseball.
Having the first round bye is awesome, as it shortens our tournament to an 8 team tournament, as 2 teams will have been eliminated by the time we play our first game. However, I, along with the rest of the Dirty Pirates, are just ready to play. Practice has been great, the boys are having a ton of fun, but the honeymoon has ended, and we just want put the pinstripes on and tee it up.
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Last night was our pre-tournament banquet for all of the teams and a good portion of the town. It's always a big deal here. We brought our southern charm to the party, as our boys were, without a doubt, the best dressed group in the crowd. I rocked a seersucker suit to bring a little Alabama south out west. Most of our guys were sporting the bow ties and looking sharp.
We were able to hear the wonderful, yet heartbreaking story of Cory Hahn. The former Arizona State baseball stud who broke his neck and is now paralyzed from the chest down, after a terrible accident in a baseball game his freshman season. His story, again, put baseball and life in their proper perspectives.
Today, quite simply, was a boring, quiet, run of the mill day after our 11:00 am practice. It was exactly what we all needed. We watched some games, hung out, ate a little Mexican food, and froze our tails off. It's 50 degrees up here. Oh 90 degrees with 80 percent humidity, where are you?
As I write this, we are about 25 hours away from our first pitch. I won the coin toss, by the way, so we will be the home team. Not sure if that counts for anything, but we have that going for us...which is nice. I always go with tails. Tails never fails.
It's like Christmas Eve here in Grand Junction.
And our boys are ready for Santa Claus.