For Love of the Game

This is a little piece of fun, and we could all use a little fun right now.

When you think of legendary baseball managers you think of John McGraw, Joe McCarthy, Connie Mack, Casey Stengel, Walter Alston, Joe Torre – managers that had the grit and gumption to not only manage players, but get out there and battle with the umpire when they witnessed a bad call.

Today, we’re seeing the beginnings of perhaps another great… The Drake.

While he’s got a few years to go in honing his craft, 6-year old Drake Livingston is already formidable. Passionate and petulant, Coach Drake “helps” the Kalamazoo Growlers, a team that plays in the Northwoods League, a summer collegiate baseball league.

As reported by CBS News (July 19), The Drake has already gained quite a following on social media.

“First, people didn’t know if it was a joke, what was going on,” said Brian Colopy, the team’s general manager. But he soon became a Growlers staple.

“He’s a serious kid…” Colopy added. “He wants the players to play the game the right way… he wants the guys first and foremost to have fun, for the fans that are there to enjoy the show.”

Drake, indeed, does take the game seriously. He will argue with umpires, throw bats and even dump buckets of balls over disputes. In fact, he holds the record for most ejections… in the Northwoods League.

“This is the most anger I have ever seen out of a 6-year-old,” an announcer said during one of Drake’s tantrums. “Spiking his hat on home plate, the ultimate sign of disrespect!”

“A baseball manager is a necessary evil,” Sparky Anderson observed.

“Drake is a very passionate kid, and there has been a few instances where his passion is overwhelming,” his father said. But Cody Livingston said it’s all in good fun, and for the love of the game.

He’s really been great with the guys, and the team atmosphere of it has really been important for him…” he said. “Being around the guys, just doing anything he can for the team, has been just a godsend.”

“He brings a joy to our clubhouse and to our fan base,” Colopy said. “He gives more than he takes, and if you can do that in life, we’ll all be in a better place.”

We all need to be in that better place now, more than ever.

“Baseball,” Ty Cobb insisted, “is a red-blooded sport for red-blooded men. It’s no pink tea, and mollycoddles had better stay out. It’s a struggle for supremacy, a survival of the fittest.”

What can Drake add to that?

“I want to play baseball forever,” he said.

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