Thanks Coach! Poem by Jim Yerman

Thanks Coach!

Whenever I make a mistake my mind drifts to my little league coach back when I played the game…I'm sorry to say as the years have passed I have forgotten his name.

You see I loved the game of baseball…loved its glamour…it's appeal…unfortunately my ability to play the game would never match my zeal.

If I missed a catch that somehow found its way to me…exiled in the right field clover…my coach would smile then patiently say, "Nice try, Jim….I think you need a do over".

When I'd swing and miss…which unfortunately I did an exorbitant amount…coach gave me so many do overs I'm sure even he lost count.

Who would've thought my do overs would have given me a modicum of fame…but that's precisely what happened as ‘Do Over' became my name.

"Do Over, you're up."
"Do Over, nice try."
"Do Over, throw me the ball."
I'd even hear, "Hi Do Over." In school…as I was walking down the hall.

On our jerseys, as a surprise, coach had our names emblazoned on the back…but when I looked at mine I was crestfallen…as I read Doover all in black.

How could this have happened…Coach said he hadn't a clue…but, looking back, it seems appropriate my jersey was a do over too.

I put it on reluctantly…unable to think of an escape maneuver…and for the rest of my short-lived baseball career…my new nickname was Doover.

But I came to love that jersey…in it I found both glamour…and appeal…and I think I learned more from that jersey…than my time spent on the field.

I learned to view the world through imperfect but patient eyes…I learned everyone deserves a break…I learned to give people another chance…whenever they make mistakes.

Eventually my mom threw out my old jersey…years of wear and tear taking its toll…but I didn't mind because by then…Doover was emblazoned on my soul.

Through teaching, marriage, fatherhood, friendships this Doover thread has spun…because we never know, when we fail, if the next do over is the One.

It's funny how initially I thought Doover would lead to my demise…but in the end…it is Doover that saved me…
So…thanks coach…I may not remember your name…but I'll never forget the name you gave me.

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