Noah Bear

March 23, 2009

My 10 year old son Noah had a game yesterday. He plays for the Dodgers and they played the undefeated Phillies. The Dodgers took a three run lead into the last inning and lost it, mostly on a throwing error my son made from shortstop. I was so bummed. I would like to tell you I don’t care and he’s only 10 and all I want him to do is have fun, but I would be lying. I was bummed. Mostly because the Phillies have 15 crazy- over-the-top-Dad coaches. They also have a bunch of kids who break out in huge crying fits at the drop of a hat. And they do it about 20 times a game. Don’t they know there’s no crying in baseball? What part of “A League of Their Own” don’t they understand? 

Anyway, they might be great kids and great Dad coaches, but they just bug and I would’ve loved to see them get waxed. And they would’ve if Noah hadn’t chucked a routine grounder away. He was fine after the game. He actually had fun and had an air of “if this is the worst thing that can happen to me on the field, then that’s not so bad”. It was cool. 

I’ve personally been through that situation (losing a game for the team) many times in my career and there’s nothing anyone can say at the time to make it better. You just go through it and move on. It’s a different deal being a Dad and watching my son go through it. Part of me wants to hug him, part of me wants to yell at him to bear down, and part of me wants to let him know that making mistakes is part of baseball and life in general. I keep thinking back to the times I made mistakes and recalling how I felt and how my Dad talked to me or yelled at me or whatever.

So I really didn’t do anything. I asked him if he had fun (yes), told him I loved him, told him I was proud of him, kissed him, and tucked my daughter in to bed and then went to bed myself. In the morning over breakfast, he asked me what the worst game I ever had was. That was too hard to answer (too many) but I told him a story about me playing for Grampa at Orange Coast and striking out to lose a game.

I asked him what his was, and he said last night’s with a smile, and a glint in his eye that told me he was gonna be alright. The little bugger kind of liked it. He liked the challenge. He liked the drama. He likes winning and at least in this instance, he lost gracefully. Damn, he just might be a ballplayer after all.

22 Responses to “Noah Bear”

  1. Matt Shafer says:

    My junior year in high school we played a night game against our cross town rivals. The score was 2-1 with two outs in the bottom of the last inning, there was a runner on 2nd and I was the hitter. What I need to let you know is there were probably about 1000 people in attendance because there was a scheduled bench clearing brawl that had taken place a few innings earlier. Yes, scheduled! Some of our football players had spray painted our rivals high school earlier in the week and let’s just say it wasn’t positive. By the time the game was over the field was lined with police cars and I had been involved in a very intense brawl that had people coming out of the stands it was crazy. Back to the at bat: the count was 3-2 and I had fouled of about 10 pitches in a row, on the final pitch a swung through a fast ball and struck out to end the game. I was crushed, the situation was so intense I broke down into tears, it was devastating. A couple years latter I was with my best friend who also played on the team and he was telling the story of the game and the fight to someone and he had finished the story up by giving his recount of my at bat. He said it was the “great at bat he had ever seen, funny how perception can be so different from one person to another? I now look back at that at bat as awesome, I did my very best at the time and I am so happy I got the opportunity to be in that situation.

  2. Brent Mayne says:

    Shaf, I lied.

  3. Bob Bradley says:

    When I was 10 years old my dad was the coach of our church league team, CYO. I had never played baseball before, but having four younger brothers and my dad, we could usually get a pickup game in our backyard. I tried out for the team that year. There must have been 40 kids that tried out. My dad decided that I was not good enough to play and cut me from the team. I have hated the game ever since then. I asked him years later why he cut. He told me that I was good enough to make the team (barely), but he did not want to show favoritism towards me. Fast forward 45 years and my son now plays baseball. He loves it. I have grown to like the game through my son. He works hard at it, enjoys it and gets a huge sense of accomplishment practicing and playing the game. Suffice it to say that it he and I are very close because of the game and cherish the time together! Win or lose he and I are a team.

  4. Bill Lafferty says:

    Championship Game(series tied 1 each) before the game my best friend, and another player asked why I always “non chalanted” my throws to first. (I played 3rd and had reasonably strong, and accurate arm) I didn’t really have an answer for them, it just was a natural act I guess. Bottom of the 6th(out of 7) I get a ball ripped right a me, one hop, snagged and all day to throw this guy out. I came up quickly and rushed my throw, E5, runner on the Keystone. He ends up scoring, we fail to match in the top of the 7th and go home to kiss our sisters.
    Initially I gave the blame to the 2 guys who messed up my “juju” but mom set me straight. The next week I went 4/5 at the All-Star with all four hits coming against their pitchers. Small consolation. Nice shot of your son, I thought it was you for a second…had to do a double take.

  5. Royce the Cherokee says:

    Noah is THE MAYNE ! That’s the attitude it takes to get through a 162 game schedule.

  6. Justin Connell says:

    I am 10 and I play shortstop just like Noah, I think its cool you tell him to have fun. Thats what my mom tells me to do win or lose. My moms best freind Julia told my mom about your book because My favorite position is catcher so I googled your sight and like you the story too.

  7. Brent Mayne says:

    Thanks for writing in Justin. If you ever have any questions, don’t be afraid to ask, I’ll do my best to give you a good answer. I’m glad you found the site and hope that you continue to check it out. Tell all of your buddies! ~ Brent

  8. Brent Mayne says:

    Thank all of you guys for sharing….I love those stories.

  9. Royce the Cherokee says:

    Thank you Brent, the site , the book and The Maynes ROCK !!!!!!!

  10. Justin Connell says:

    Thank you for answering back. I will tell my teammates, friends at school and the guys in my catching clinics. I have two questions how tall is to tall to be catcher? Did you always play catcher? One more question is did you know when you were young you wanted to play in the major league?
    Thank you.

  11. Greg Ertel says:

    Some of the most fun I ever had playing baseball was the summer league at TeWinkle Park in Costa Mesa between mt freshman and sophomore year. The beach all day and baseball at night. What made this league so much fun was playing short stop on the varsity team with Brent behind the plate. When people tried to steal, it was pretty funny. Having the ball in your glove as the runner is starting his slide, priceless…….

    Going back to playing on the Jr. varsity was a sobering situation.

  12. Hill M says:

    I am happy that you are noey bears dad!

  13. Tammy Blom says:

    Love the story. I’ve been there too, with Carter, being completely torn between wanting to tell him to get his head out of his @## and telling him it will be alright. Luckily, the mom in me always, no most of the time, won out over the competetive Mayne in me. Hope you guys are all well and you’re a damn good writer!

  14. Mike Phillips says:

    Sounds like your boy is a gamer! Do you think you could be there for me after going over the falls on a picture perfect wave that I should have shredded?

  15. Chris Mayne says:

    Hey, B.
    Absolutely enjoyed this thread. Proud of both of you guys for seeing the bigger picture. Bear is gonna be a big winner in the game of life and at whatever he chooses to do.

  16. Tom Balding says:

    Brent – It is good to hear Noah is having fun playing ball. Say hi to him for me. I miss seeing him on the Little League Fields.

    Take care.


  17. Henry says:

    What a great story…I love reading your threads. I’m sure Noah will be fine in whatever he does. He has got great support. I can totally relate. Having coached Carter and seeing what the kids go thru. I’m sure Carter will tell you playing ball with your Dad as coach isn’t easy. All you can do is give them a hug, tell them to hold their head up and you will get them next time…….

  18. brent says:

    I had a game today and I hit two homeruns.The first one was a three run shot to put my team in the lead 3-5.The second homer was a grandslam!But the fence was only 230 feet.We ended up mercing the team 13-3.
    I play in pony and on a travel ball team which is called the O.C. HEAT 12@ under team.

    I have one question, when did you start playing baseball?


  19. brent says:

    I have a tournament this weekend for my travel ball team.

  20. brent says:

    My name is Brent too.Thats pretty cool. Today I had a baseball game and I hit two homeruns.The first one was a three run shot to put my team in the lead 3-5.The second one was a grandslam.We ended up mercing the other team.
    I play on a pony team and on a travel ball team 12@ under.
    I have a question for you,when did you start playing baseball?


  21. Brent Mayne says:

    Hi Brent,
    Congrats on the great game….keep plugging along, no too high or too low! I started playing, um, well, I guess I can’t remember. I was too little. Ever since I can remember I was playing ball.

  22. Brent says:

    I had a game last weekend in Temecula.We went all the way to the championship but we lost.It was shocking beacause we lost 12-0.We would of gotten rings if we won.

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