One minute a bunch of San Miguel youngsters are rounding the bases and heading for home in a lively baseball game against their parents. Moments later, they are rounding the same bases in single file, carrying a creche on a platform and singing the traditional songs of the Posada.
And shortly after that, the kids were back swinging a bat — only this time at a candy-filled pinata.
In between the Posada and the pinata?
Well, tamales, of course. And cocoa, and presents, and gift bags, too.
Last night was a holiday party for the young ballplayers and their parents at the sparkling, still-new, Stirling Dickinson Estadio de Biesbol Municipal, back behind the Tuesday Market.
How did I get there? Through my friend Efrain Gonzalez and his partner in art and good works Laura Cerroblanco, of course! Efrain and Laura are huge supporters of the youth baseball program, for boys and girls. He’s always looking for ways to involve us non-Mexicans in programs like this — offering us wonderful ways to show gratitude to the beautiful city we all call home.
A lot of members of Efrain’s “support team” showed up to watch the kids and parents play ball, and some even took a turn at bat.
The kids ranged in age from, oh, barely big enough to hold a bat up to the early teens. There were lots of MLB teams represented too — Pirates, Dodgers, D-backs, and more. Watching kids — these kids especially — at play is such a rejuvenating experience. The laughter is pure and unrestrained, the game is still just that, a game. And there is so much pride in sharing their skills with their parents, too.
Even after the game was over, the tamales were eaten, and the pinata smashed to smithereens, about 20 of the kids were out on the turf kicking the rubber soccer balls they’d received as gifts — laughing and joking and showing each other the futbol skills that they nurture right alongside those for baseball.