Jaylon played in a baseball tournament Labor Day weekend at West Covina Big League Dreams Park. All the games were played at the Green Monster ( Fenway Park). The team played a total of 5 games and ultimately came in 3rd out of 6 teams in the 9yo division.
Jaylon did quite well overall showing signs of his old self. He hit the ball well, bunted, and drove in a couple of RBIs. On defense he caught a fly ball in the outfield. In the second game he made an appearance on the mound for the first time this year. After getting eliminated in the final game, Jaylon looked a little disappointed. He missed a couple of fly balls in the outfield which he usually made last year. I asked him what was wrong and he said that when he runs after a fly ball, the ball seems to shake in the sky making it difficult for him to focus on it. One of the side effects of his chemo is that he has been running flat footed. I told him that not running on the balls of his feet will cause his head to shake therefore making it difficult to gauge a fly ball. Jaylon is very quiet and shy yet he is ultra competitive. I told him we will work on his footwork to get him back to running shape soon.
On a personal note, for a minute I get lost in the moment watching Jaylon at bat or out on the field. I just see him as my little ball player competing out there every pitch, every out, and every inning. Then I notice that the same attitude and effort he shows out on the baseball field is the same I've been seeing the last 10 months at the City of Hope and at home battling his illness. It's difficult not to think about what he's gone through, however for that moment on the the baseball field I see only a baseball player and a good teammate.