Brunswick resident Heather D. Martin wants to know what’s on your mind; email her at

Massive congrats to the team from Maine for making it to the Little League World Series. You guys, that’s huge.

We can talk about the stats and the figures if you want. We can talk about how, as noted in the Portland Press Herald, Gray-New Gloucester/Raymond is “just the fourth team from Maine to ever advance to the Little League World Series,” or we can talk about how well this team has been doing all season long, but baseball is so much more than just the numbers and figures we capture on paper.

This has been a baseball-intensive summer for me. My youngest son spent his summer on an internship from college as “the voice” of the North Platte Plainsmen, a wooden bat summer league out of, you guessed it, North Platte, Nebraska, and as any loving mom would, I tuned in to hear my kiddo call the games.

OK, so, obviously I have some bias here. I mean, he is my kid. However, believe me when I tell you, the kid is good. Really good. If you would like to experience this and judge for yourself, pretty sure all the games are archived on YouTube. Pull one up and give a listen.

What I loved most, though, was hearing the pure love of the game in my son’s voice. No matter the score (the team lost a lot), he was happy to be there calling it. Just like the fans were happy in the stands and the players were thrilled to be on the field. It’s possible the only unhappy one in the park was whatever poor, unfortunate intern pulled the short straw and had to be the mascot in the Nebraska summer heat.

What is it about baseball? Is it because it takes place outdoors in the lazy days of summer? Is that what imbues the game with magic? Is it born of the dusty lot pickup game origins? Is it the food?


When my son first told me he wanted to go to school for sports journalism, I balked. I had visions of him writing “for real.” Parents, we so often miss the boat. Lucky for me, he asked me to proof his college admissions essay. This is a snippet of what I read, referencing a play in the 2003 World Series:

“Ultimately, this play was unimportant. It didn’t win or lose that game. … Nevertheless, it is a moment that my grandfather and I laughed about for years. He recorded that game on his DVR, whenever we wanted a laugh, we’d watch that play. … In early September, I visited my grandparents. … That conversation wound up being the last conversation I had with him. Grandpa passed away a week later. The scorebook calls this play a single to the catcher, barely mentioned. But to me, that play is much more. It’s a bridge to my past, a connection to my grandfather, the moment that revealed to me that I wanted to do exactly that: commenting on sports, creating memories for others. While my grandfather won’t be here to see my career grow or to see all the moments in the future, I will always have that play. And through it, I will always have him.”

Obviously I got behind his career choice. Powerful stuff, baseball.

What I thought about as I watched the young team from Maine in a big, big stadium and the bright lights of the game, was not the score, the stats or whether they’d come home with the trophy.

I was thinking about the friendships, the laughs, the bonding with parents and teammates. I thought about the magic of summer and a ballgame kicking off.

I wished them luck, but most of all, I wished them the love of the game.

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