Another season of Poplar Bluff Park Department baseball and softball will wrap up Monday when the final championship game will be held at McLane Park.
The Pony League was to be decided Friday night but rain postponed the game.
It’s a fitting end to a season which saw an entire week washed out at more than one point in a season that started in mid-May.
“Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose and sometimes it rains,” goes the line from a baseball movie the kids are too young to see.
Along with all the rainouts, this summer featured another oddity in that the Babe Ruth League only featured two teams.
The league, which consists of players age 14-15, only had 28 players at the start of the season. The two teams played six times while another game was forfeited when not enough players showed up.
In the final game, played July 6, Rent One held off Las Margaritas 8-5.
Logan Hale scored three times for Rent One, Haydin Clark crossed the plate twice while Kyle Kearbey, Rylan Seesengood and Mikey Overton each scored a run.
Marcuss Tabanera scored twice for Las Margaritas while Levi Alexander, Payton Newton and Jackson McCormick each scored a run.
Seesengood got the win on the mound for Rent One, which lost once during the season but fell behind 3-0 in the first inning only to answer with four runs.
“It made me a little nervous,” Rent One coach David Kearbey said by phone this week.
But not too nervous since Rent One’s offense had good plate discipline and the ability to score runs. Kearbey credited assistant coach Mickey Overton teaching hitters to be patient.
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With an 85-pitch limit and a limited number of arms, patience was just as important as speed and strength.
Kearbey said his team featured a few players that also played on traveling teams and a few that had never played organized baseball before this summer.
The leagues with older players have always had fewer teams as kids tend to find other interests as they get older. The oldest softball league at McLane Park had four teams while the other two leagues each had five.
Each coach is given four picks to start their team and the Park Department fills in the rest of the roster.
Having just two teams face off each week was not an ideal situation but it was better than not playing at all.
“I’m sure they would have appreciated it if we had a couple of other teams to play,” Kearbey said. “They just wanted to play baseball.”
More kids are being more serious about playing baseball these days with travel teams and leagues. Still, open recreation leagues such as the Park Department are important for those kids that got a late introduction to the game or just want to play and have fun.
Older generations grew up playing sandlot baseball — and in many cases every other sport — with neighborhood kids, facing the same pitchers and mixing up teams every day for something to do.
Nowadays, kids can play with someone on the other side of the world in a video-game setting. They hope to end up on an eSports team in college or professionally and have followers on Twitch.
If none of that makes any sense, just know it’s all about competition but just in a different setting.
Kearbey hopes to see more kids sign up next spring to field at least one more team.
“I think they had fun,” Kearbey said. “Everybody had fun, of course, because we had a winning season. Winning is always more fun than losing.”
And sometimes it rains.