- July 9, 2018
Bleacher life is real life for moms of Little Leaguers.
They’ve paced the sidelines with a case of nerves as their kid takes the mound.
They’ve crunched across a pile of sunflower seed shells in the stands.
Their laundry rooms are constantly overflowing with baseball gear in desperate need of a wash. And they can’t seem to get rid of the red clay in between the tiles of every bathroom in their home.
But they love it.
“You’re sitting on that bench filled with pride, watching him grow into a man,” said Kathy Frisch, whose 10-year-old son plays with the Winter Garden Little League.
Life for a baseball, or softball, mom can easily mean spending between four and six days a week at the field. A typical day at the diamond involves socializing with other parents while cheering and yelling helpful advice at their kid on the field.
“It’s a big family affair,” said Tracey Eidelman, whose 10- and 11-year-old sons play with WGLL. “It’s where we all go to hang out.”
For many moms, the Little League or travel ball life doesn’t have many breaks during the year, so the baseball diamond becomes like a second home to their entire family.
“My husband and I have made tons of friends, and my children have made tons of friends,” said Leslie Lampshire, whose daughter plays softball with the Windermere Little League. “It’s definitely a community.”
And to up the supportive vibe at a game, many of the moms show up to games sporting baseball- or softball-themed T-shirts, courtesy of local T-shirt companies.
The Sophisticated Closet, owned by Frisch, in downtown Winter Garden sells T-shirts with featuring phrases, such as “Baseball Mom,” “Summer Days & Double Plays” and “Eat. Sleep. Baseball. Repeat.”
For Windermere Little League moms, many turn to Team Moms Rock for a T-shirt with their child’s name and jersey number on the back.
“You see people with (the T-shirts) on, and they’re just cheering and rooting,” said Lampshire, who owns Team Moms Rock. “You’re showing your support, you’re getting in the mood of the sport and I think it gets the kids fired up.”
But being a supportive baseball mom is more than wearing a flashy T-shirt and cheering on the sidelines.
“Our biggest job is to remind them that it’s just a game, because everything is life and death to them,” said Jaime Takacs, whose 11-year-old son plays with WGLL.
According to these baseball moms, talking about a game beforehand is a big no-no. It’s all about keeping the day as normal as possible so their kids don’t get a case of nerves. And after a bad day on the field, it’s sometimes up to the moms to calm down their upset ballplayer.
“In the car on the way home, we’ve had some talks,” Frisch said.
Of course, not all kids want to talk after a loss. Some just need a big suicide soda to cure their losing blues.
Most moms would say that the value of regular outdoor activity is invaluable for their children.
“I’d rather have him immersed in a sport that he loves than playing video games,” Frisch said.
And on big game days, everyone, sometimes even strangers, turns up to watch.
“The fanbase is incredible,” said Eidelman. “It’s like Friday Night Lights, but baseball.”
Contact Brittany Gaines at [email protected]