Saturday, June 09, 2007

First Capitol News Sports - Mike McMurran Sports Editor

I remember the last time we took a major family vacation. All five of us flew to San Diego and stayed on a beachfront condo. We went to the world famous San Diego Zoo, Sea World and of course Lego Land in Carlsbad, California. Of every thing we did while in San Diego, the moment that stuck in my mind had nothing to do with tourist type jaunts. No, it had to do with a little, old blue-haired lady. As the five of us were walking down the beach, out of nowhere this lady came. She was on us before we knew it, and she looked directly into my eyes and said, “Once they have you out numbered, you’re in trouble.” Of course she was referring to Maggie, Joe and Dee (3) versus Lynn and I (2). At the time I somewhat knew what she meant, but for the most part simply thought she was making small talk. As time went on I realized she was in fact sent from heaven, to warn us of an impending hell!

For some reason Lynn and I can get through the soccer, basketball and football season without many conflicts. Such is not the case with baseball and softball. Frankly, the months of April, May and June are a giant pain in the butt. There have been no less than three occasions where Lynn and I have had to be at three places at the same time. For whatever unexplainable reason all three kids’ games all start at 6 p.m. at points all over Saint Charles County. Sure, I’m a teacher and have summers off, but in Jennings that doesn’t start until next Monday. All I can say is thank God for special friends; without them I could never make it happen – and for once I do mean ME. Sure, those of you who are personally familiar with Family McMurran know Lynn is the family manager. Problem is, the family manager doesn’t get off work until anywhere between 5 and 5:30. It takes everything the family manager has to make it to the games by the first pitch. No, the scheduling of transportation falls upon yours truly. I can’t imagine what it must be like to be a single parent – it’s hard enough with two of us. The little old blue haired lady was 100% accurate. “Once they have you outnumbered you’re in trouble.”

The older I become the better life. Just to update everyone, Joe is now 9 (going into the 4th grade) and Dee is 7 (2nd grade look out!). Last evening the three of us went to the Cardinal game versus the Reds. When Lynn and I first started taking the kids to Cardinal games we would end in “Kiddy Land,” or whatever they called it, by the 4th inning or so. From there you couldn’t see the game, it stunk from all the kids having their shoes off, and few people were drinking beer and screaming. How things have changed.

Last evening Joe, Dee and myself sat in our seats minutes before the first pitch, and stayed until the very end. Of course it was the game that was won in the bottom of the ninth with a pitch hit home run. My sons have grown to the point they ask some pretty good questions about baseball. I can proudly say I sat through nine full innings of baseball with a single cold adult beverage. Ah yes, life is in fact good.

My sons have grown into such baseball fans we have decided to start an annual family tradition. Starting this June 29, Joe, Dee and I will travel to a different city each summer to see the Cardinals play baseball. Little did we know when we planned this year’s trip the Reds would be in last place. The good side of it is we were able to purchase seats directly behind home plate – something impossible in St. Louis. We will leave on Friday morning, watch Friday and Saturday night’s game, and return to St. Charles via Indianapolis as we visit my nephew.

As I grow older I continue to enjoy Cardinal baseball – maybe more than ever. It’s as if I am returning to my childhood every time I enter the stadium, it makes me feel like I’m 10 years old again. Then I look and see I’m with my two sons – and I say “thank you” to the Creator of the Universe.

Only six weeks left until the O’Fallon Junior Renegades have their annual summer football camp. Joe will move up to the 9 year-old team while Dee will coached by yours truly in the 7 year-old division.

Rumors have it Coach Soderburg has been offered an assistant coaching position at Michigan. If they are true I wish him all the luck in the world. If MSHSAA rules haven’t changed, Kramer will be allowed to complete his senior year at West. That is a good thing. The bad news is, the rest of the family will move north. So much for Duchesne’s power house team in 6 years.