On a lazy sun-drenched day, while sitting in cue at a fundraising car wash,
cheers reminiscent of those I’d relished during my
grandsons’ little league baseball 
games resounded.
This familiar seasoned baseball field appeared formally dressed for the day.
Its chipped green mini stands, my old friends, lured me into plopping on them again.
A new breed of younger fans spread out on the tired benches.
A wide grinned friendly man, leaning on his cane nodded at me.
I asked him about this baseball game before us.
Proudly raising his chin skyward, he said. “You are watching a unique league created
for kids with special needs by loving and caring people. See that child running toward
the pitcher? Well that’s my boy. When he turned six,I signed him up for this.
Momentarily speechless, I noticed similarities between my past little league experiences
and today’s game: they shared the same rabid shouts, the same waves and gestures,
and the same endless energy that invited me to celebrate the moment.
Differences today were a small pile of crutches near me,
several wheelchairs both on the field and surrounding the stands.
A slower motion more passive game blanketed that field facing me.
Adults pitched countless baseballs underhand and in slow motion to children.
As the day progressed, I believe numerous pitch counts attached
a raspy tone to the 
volunteer hurler’s voices.
Some players needed more than three swings an at bat to hit the ball.
Some players repeatedly scooted around the bases.
A one-handed wheelchair batter needed a dozen pitches before hitting the ball,
an entire cluster of fans cheered that success.
The jubilant boy celebrated his achievement and sped his wheelchair
past first base 
while teammates jogged rhumba style behind him.
He stopped at second base, looked around, noticed a parade of runners and beamed.
High fives appeared more frequently than at a major league game after a walk off win.
After my hopping like a Jack in the box, I cradled my face in my hands.
I stood mouth agape after one powerful young slugger’s high fly ball
sailed over left 
field’s chain link fence.
Curiously, that blast was escorted by a darting bird.
Grandparents, parents, and other fans laden with snacks,
paraphernalia stood and delivered a joyous symphony of screams.
Fans in wheelchairs spun around to music.
Sunny smiles scattered across the baseball diamond.
This game, presented a perfect example of baseball belonging to everyone.
Ambling toward my now spotless car,
I looked over my shoulder at the players heading 
They walked with a hop in their steps.
I recalled a brilliant statement by Bryant Gumble,
“The other sports are just sports, baseball is love.”