Baseball is a favored sport in the Colby household. JD, entering the eighth grade next fall, has played at the Urbandale Little League for many years. John, his father, has moved from the role of a helpful dad to that of head coach.
Their team, comprised of seventh and eighth graders from Urbandale, Clive and Windsor Heights, competes in the Urbandale Junior League and has amassed a successful season record of 11-5.
“It’s been a good season,” says Colby. “The eighth graders have given great leadership to the new guys. For the seventh graders, this was a big step.”
In their Windsor Heights garage, the Colbys have found quite a collection of bats, balls, gloves and bags. As JD has grown, his glove and bat needs have changed, and his old equipment now serves as practice and loaner gear for team practices.
His pile of equipment also includes a full set of protective catchers gear, from the face mask and helmet to the shin and knee guards. A catcher also uses a special glove, providing an extra-large target for the pitcher and extra padding to protect the hands of the one wearing it.
When not behind the plate catching, JD often takes to the pitchers mound for his turn throwing strikes, and when the team is on offense, he swings his DeMarini bat, aiming for the fence, a long 300 feet away.
“There haven’t been a lot of home runs this year since we moved up to the big field,” says Colby. “That extra 100 feet is a long way for a seventh grader.”
Colby has enjoyed his season of coaching, which began in the cold at the end of Iowa’s long-lasting winter and concluded in the summer heat of mid-June. All Star and AAU play continues throughout the summer for the Colbys, as they pack the car with contents from their garage several times each week and make the trek to Northfield Little League Park.
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