Emma's son Johnny had been bugging her about joining a sports team like all his friends. One day she took Johnny to the local recreational center, where they were having tryouts for baseball. She found out about the tryouts from a banner she saw hanging outside the recreation center when she was driving by. Baseball seemed like the perfect sport for Johnny to learn to play since it is nicknamed America's Pastime.
Emma took her son to the tryouts after school. "I'm sorry," one of the coaches told Emma. "Johnny was too young to try out for baseball. Since he was six years old, he could try out for T-ball, though."
T-ball is similar to baseball except that there is no pitcher. Instead the ball is placed on a stand called a "T" because of its shape. This makes it easier for younger kids to hit. T-ball games are also shorter than regular baseball games. Regular baseball games last nine innings. Emma couldn't imagine her son standing still for nine minutes.
T-ball sounded like a good way to introduce her son to the responsibilities of being on a sports team and the rules of baseball. Emma had to bring Johnny back on a different day to try out for T-ball. When she did, he was put on a team. After paying a fee, Johnny was given a uniform. Johnny looked at the back of his uniform. "Hey, look! Mom. I'm number one!" he said proudly.
Once Johnny started playing though, it was clear to Emma that he was not very good at baseball. He stuck with it though, and his team ended the season in fourth place. There were only four teams in the T-ball league. "Can I play again next season," Johnny asked his mom. "Yes, but see if you can get another number," she told him.