Over the course of the tournament both my boys' teams got eliminated, but we stayed to watch some of their friends play. One of the teams we were watching was a 10U, or 10 and under, team with a bunch of my younger son's friends on it. As the game went on, the usual baseball cheers came ringing from the dugout.
Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Casey's gonna crush it, no doubt about it!
Battle, Baby, Battle! Hit it to Seattle!
I'm fired up! You fired up? YEAH! I'm fired up! You fired up? YEAH!
There are so many others that usually make us chuckle. It seems like the more cheesy the better, but the kids love it. We all yelled the same cheers when we were kids, and have to remember that they were just as cheesy back then. We love seeing them so excited as they play the game they love, and it's a great way for them to support each other.
One of the members of this team is a girl named Emily. Yes, she's the only girl. She's been on the team for a couple of years now, and if you ask her ten year old male teammates about her, many of them will tell you the same thing. She's the best pitcher on the team. By far. Some will even start rattling off her ERA stats. I love that they always respond with a smile on their face. These are all smart young men, and they all know she's won games for them more than once.
When Emily came up to bat, a new cheer started from the boys in the dugout.
When I say girl, you say power! GIRL! POWER! GIRL! POWER!
This group of ten year old boys all in the dugout were screaming about girl power! Think about that. Think about how far we have come, from teasing someone that they throw like a girl to hearing fourth grade boys chant in a male-dominated dugout "GIRL! POWER!" My heart was in my throat as I sat there. I absolutely loved seeing this group of boys accept, know, and fully appreciate that Emily was strong, powerful, and fully a member of their team. I imagine when those boys hear the phrase 'throw like a girl', they think, "I wish I could pitch like Emily does."
That doesn't mean we don't have farther to go. I hope these boys keep those chants up. I hope they teach them to their friends, like my sons. I hope other teams who have girls on their rosters pick it up. I hope that as these boys get older and have girlfriends, wives, and some day daughters of their own, they remember the girl whose powerful swing drove in a run for them as they went on to win that tournament this weekend.
When Emily goes to school wearing the t-shirt she got that says, "Champions" on the back in gold letters, I hope other girls see it and aspire to throw like a girl, too.
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