If you are looking for proof that 9 and 10 year old boys are gullible little idiots, then look no further than this video. You can basically tell them anything, make up any kind of fanciful tale in the world, and they will believe it. If you are coaching them in Mustang baseball, and want to win, you have to take advantage of this fact, which we did.
I hate to spoil the surprise from the video, but it is really only a surprise if you are 9 or 10 years old and like surprises. We basically paid $300 for the latest and greatest big barrel aluminum bat, and then made a big production out of it when the bat arrived mid season. That production included a carrying case for the bat made by my good buddy and “master craftsman” Skip. God those kids loved that bat. They treated that bat like a national treasure, always returning it to the custom case with care, and chastising anyone who mistreated it or disrespected the magic. And it worked! We went 25-2 that season, winning two tournaments and final four in two others. Certainly the kids on that team were above average, but I also like to think that the extra magic from that bat had something to do with it.
And it wasn’t just the bat. There was also the “Rally Coat.” Like Eskimo Joe in Django, I got cold one time at a Cub’s game, and dropped some serious coin on a Cubs manager jacket. Returning to Indiana, I could also wear that coat when coaching the Battle Ground Cubs. But I would never wear the coat until we got into a tough spot late in the game and needed a big hit or a strong defensive inning. This apparently worked one time, and the coat became lucky. I put on the coat, went out to coach the bases, we had a big hit and won the game. So the coat became the magic Rally Coat, which we would use ONLY if needed during a game. The boys would always debate if the coat was needed for a particular situation before I put it on, understanding full well at that tender age that you do not abuse the magic.
Now, the coat was fun in May when the temperature was 50-60 degrees, but come June the temperatures were getting into the 70’s and 80’s and there would come a time during a game on a hot, dusty 80 degree Indiana day when I would be out coaching 3d base wearing a winter coat. Kind of made it even more fun, if we are being honest with one another.
Anyway, if you doubt any of this about the magic of the Triton and the Rally Coat and all that, then just watch the following video. Really, watch it. Midseason tournament, temperature 93 degrees. We are down 11-9 in the bottom of the last inning with 1 out and 2 men on base. I’m at third base sweating my ass off. J Dan at bat with the Triton. Really, watch the video.