Something I never expected to hear yelled at a ball game: “Don’t let her poop in the outfield!”

This quite unique admonition came from my daughter, Emily, to my granddaughter, Ellie, this week after an Outward Baseball game at Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church. Now, she wasn’t telling Ellie not to poop in the outfield. Instead, she was saying for Ellie not to let their dog, Layla, leave a calling card out there.

This was my first time at one of the games. All three grandchildren are playing on teams, and since the season is almost over, I figured it was time to check them out before I totally had the grandmother card revoked. I do have a good reason for not going before now. The games are usually at times when I can’t be there, but these were makeup games held later in the day when I could attend.

This particular game was one in which Seth, 9, was playing. You can’t favor one grandchild over the other, so the plan was for me to also go to Thomas’s T-ball game (he’s 5) and Ellie’s softball game (she’s 11) later in the week.

As an added bonus to the day, Seth’s team was short one player, so who did they get to fill in? Thomas. His dad’s one of the coaches, plus they put him in left field so he wouldn’t be likely to be in the line of fire. He spent a lot of his time there waving at his mom and me instead of watching the game, though. We had to keep reminding him to keep his eye on the batters.

I asked Emily, “Can he actually hit the ball?” She said, yes, he could hit a live pitch and do it quite well. The coaches pitch in this league and would take special precautions with the little dude. To my surprise, Thomas was not in the least bit intimidated playing with the big boys. He went right up to the plate, ready to play. He wants to do anything Seth does, anyway!

I took some pictures and videos during the game, and looking back on them, it’s quite funny to see how little Thomas looks in the midst of the older boys. He hung right with them, though, and they were all nice to him.

Thomas got several hits in the game and got to first base safely after one of them. He advanced to second base, then third, when teammates got hits. Emily and I were sitting right behind third base so I got a great view of Thomas churning his little legs as hard as he could go to get to third, a look of sheer determination on his face. I got a video, and I get tickled every time I see it.

It was fun to watch Seth, too. He had some good plays, one time catching the ball for an out. He did well batting, getting on base and then scoring a couple of runs. I got some photos and videos of him in action but missed the big catch.

As for Layla, the granddog, this was also her first time at a game. The kids had wanted to bring her to come to a game before then, but Emily wasn’t sure how granddog would act. With me as a backup, plus only one game that night, Emily figured it was a good time to experiment. Layla was a good dog and may be invited to cheer on her kids at other games in the future.

Before you ask, there was no pooping in the outfield for Ellie to scoop. But it made for a heck of a lead sentence for this column, didn’t it?

Contact Linda Braden Albert with story ideas at

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