Coach, what’s a home run?

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Oct 15, 2013
Seattle, WA
Last year I got asked to be an assistant coach on a middle school softball team. We had 18 girls come out for the team, most of whom had never played before. We are fortunate enough to have really nice practice facilities with an all turf field, permanent fence and separate batting cages which has storage for team gear. The girls may have been unfortunate in that I was put in charge of hitting.

One of the girls, in what was to be her first time ever swinging a bat at a moving ball, came into the cage where I had the jugs machine set up and stood right square in the middle of the throw down home plate with her belly button pointed straight at the machine and holding the bat in front of her in a fashion similar to what one might do if they were carrying a flag in a parade. We made some adjustments.

A few weeks later at one of first games there was no fence, but there were some cones set on the ground in the outfield. After the plate meeting the coach explained to the team that anything that hit the ground in front of the cones, but went past them would be a double while any ball hit beyond the cones would be a home run. The same girl who stood on the plate facing the pitching machine put her hand up and asked, “Coach, what’s a home run?”

Fast forward to this year and we had our second game last Monday (middle school softball is a fall sport in Washington). This same girl hits a ground ball which is fielded by the pitcher who makes a bad throw to first. The ball misses the entrance to the first base dugout and goes into right field rolling up the fence. I’ve sent her to second and our dugout is screaming their heads off. Head coach is waving her to third and then she’s sent home after a weak throw and a lackadaisical effort by the infield to retrieve the ball. Our player has come a long way. She’s not a select level player by any means, but she’s made a lot of improvement, is working hard, has a great attitude and is having a tremendous amount of fun. I know it wasn’t a home run or even a hit, but I felt great for her. It must have been a thrill to put one in play and reach home, regardless of how it was done. I know it was. I saw the joy on her face.

This little success and dozens of others like it make this coaching gig worthwhile. I can’t wait to see what happens at our game today.
Oct 4, 2018
A Home Run is ball hit over the outfield fence in fair territory. There is no other kind. :)

But yes, I don't correct players or moms on this.
Oct 4, 2018
Although I believe an inside-the-park homerun still counts as a HR in MLB?

Nah. It's a triple with a throwing error. The scorekeepers get it wrong all the time. You either hit a dinger or you don't. ;)
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Possibilities & Opportunities!
Dec 13, 2019
'some sort of misplay that doesnt qualify as an error'

That looks like a discussion topic of its own 🙂
May 29, 2015
I remember the first "over the fence" homerun I hit. I had a monster 12u season, but most of the places we played back then didn't have fences. We finally played at a rival town where they had a fence. This rival town is NEVER any good. I am not lying or exaggerating when I say we beat one of their teams 64-4 in five innings that year.

Anyway ... A pitch comes inside and grazes my thigh enough to change the trajectory of the ball, but the umpire didn't see it. I turn to the kid on deck and shrug. He says "Tell the umpire!" I laugh and say, "Nah, I have a better idea."

Sure enough ... meatball headed for the outer edge of the plate ... CRACK! This is a "no-doubter" that lands in the playground about 50 feet past the left field fence. As I am rounding third base, I hear parents from the other team screaming and yelling at the umpire. Apparently they had seen a ball bounce over for a double, but had never seen an actual home run. They were having an utter fit saying I should have only gotten second base. 😲 :rolleyes:

Any chance your player's parents grew up in central Illinois?

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