Dear Rick (Reilly), I have enjoyed your columns for a very long time. I have a good one for you, re: curmudgeon coaches, etc.

Pitching in a game @ the age of 12, I had the misfortune of having an umpire who's son happened to be on the opposing team, due to a scheduling snafu.

This gentleman was calling balls all day, just killing me. I'm 12, so I have to keep my cool. I continue pitching to his miniscule strike zone.

This all culminated in quite the exceptional fashion:

A ball is hit into left field. The man on second (I wasn't a great pitcher) makes his way around third base, heading for home. The throw at the plate is late.

The catcher receives the throw as the hitter rounds second, on his way to third. He sees this, but on the basis that our third baseman was terrible, just terrible, at baseball, the catcher decides to RUN to third, ball in hand, in an attempt to tag out the runner as he makes his way from second.

It was close, but the catcher made it! He tagged out the runner, by outrunning him to the base. From home plate.

"YERRRRR OUTTA THERE!!!!" we should have heard the umpire scream.

Instead, the umpire, his son sitting on the opposing team's bench, calls SAFE!!!

Now, he was verily out. It was close, but not particularly.

What, pray tell, did the umpire provide as the basis for his call???

"The runner is safe by way of interference! By tagging the runner out on his way to third base, the catcher interfered with the runner's ability to make it safely to the base. Therefore, the runner is safe due to interference by way of TAGGING OUT."

Now, of course, those were not his exact, eloquent words. But the play stood. Runner safe at third. Interference.

This is a delightful picture of our young president as a boy playing baseball. This was not my original choice of picture, though. My first thought was to drive to my parents house at 2 in the morning, grab an album of old photos, and get to scanning. My second thought was to do a google image search for 'kid baseball'. There I came across a spectacular picture of a young lad pitching, in a full on Phillies' uniform. My man even has his own website, and it looks like his daddy is in the Navy. I'm sure you can find him yourself if so inclined, but even though the kid's got his own site (a la www.billydougherty.com [DNE]) and it is a GREAT pic, I just don't know about the moral efficacy of posting pictures of 9 year old kids that I don't know on my site. Remember this family?