The life of a baseball mom
By Hollen Wheeler; photo courtesy of Raptors Athletics
“Take me out to the ball game, take me out with the crowd,” repeat, repeat repeat. The life of a baseball mom can be a repeating loop, hundreds of trips to ballparks and even more to practice fields. Not to mention, there is potential for travel to tournaments within Colorado and beyond. Most club teams practice an average of three times per week and with four-to-six games per weekend, families are looking at 50-to-60 games per season.
Despite last year’s shortened baseball season, America’s pastime is alive and well in Douglas County. Collin Cacchione, director of baseball for Raptors Athletics, said there are 28 teams and more than 300 players this year for Raptors baseball, a club that serves Castle Rock, Castle Pines, Sedalia and Larkspur.
Eight years in, baseball mom Michelle Jaeger of Castle Pines states, “Baseball requires a great amount of time. The kids typically start indoor conditioning and training in October and finish the season in July.” Her son, Charlie, is part of Team Colorado Ascent and plays pitcher, shortstop and center fielder. Ascent players hail from Castle Rock, Castle Pines, Highlands Ranch and Parker.
Traveling baseball tournaments add to weekend obligations. Jaeger stated that over the years, her family has been to Vail, Steamboat Springs, Telluride and Kansas City. “We had planned to play in Omaha last summer, but all the tournaments were canceled. This year our team is planning to play in New York at Cooperstown Dreams Park. Fingers crossed it all works out.”
In addition to the time commitment, baseball can be expensive. A typical season –including traveling tournaments – can range from $2,500 to $4,000, and that doesn’t necessarily include uniforms and equipment, cleats (outdoor and metal), bats and gloves, nor travel expenses. The time and expense can be an inhibitor for adding other extracurricular activities.
Chrissy DeMier reflected on her years with two sons in baseball: “I don’t miss the weeknight craziness, trying to coordinate getting the boys to practice, dinner, homework, etc.” Currently, one of her sons is in college and she has a senior in high school who plays, but drives himself. “Weekends are certainly different. More time at home, less rushing around. I haven’t completely found my groove yet,” DeMier stated.
Jaeger and DeMier both add that baseball life is a family affair. Siblings, grandparents and even the dog partake in the fun, but that doesn’t leave much time for other duties. “Getting the laundry and yard work done when we’re never home on the weekends is a challenge,” Jaeger added.
“We were fortunate to have great families all the years that we played club ball,” says DeMier. “Traveling with those families was always lots of fun.”
Despite the time invested in baseball, Jaeger is pleased with Charlie’s development. “Although baseball is a team sport, it requires a great deal from each player as an individual and can be a very mentally challenging game for the boys,” she stated. And she quips, “My nerves when your kid prefers to be the closing pitcher!”
DeMier’s advice to up and coming baseball moms is to enjoy the craziness. “Everyone always says time goes so fast. This could not be truer. You blink and your boys will be off to college.”