The illoz Lugnuts!
posted: September 11, 2011
Every year, illoz sponsors a fall baseball team and this year, it's the T-Ball (ages four through seven) LUGNUTS! Woo hoo! I didn't get the official illoz logo in on time for the shirts, but what the heck do the kids care? They don't give a whip about no logo! They just wanna play ball!

The fall baseball season here in Western North Carolina is a big deal, folks! In just the age-group of four through ten there are almost 300 players! That's a lot of kids getting remarkably dirty!

I can't stand for stoic team photographs. Baseball is a kids game and the only point is to have way too much fun, as far as I'm concerned. They've got plenty of time to look serious later. At this age, it's just the coaches that shouldn't look exactly normal.
Why I'm involved in this:  Adults have an uncanny ability to ruin a good time for kids, especially when it comes to sports.

Looking to have the fun sucked out of something like baseball? Invite an adult, for sure.

If I had the money to build a baseball park where adults where not allowed, I would build it immediately. Adults, let it be said, are the worst thing that ever happened to the great game of baseball, so says me.
When kids are young, the crowds are huge. The player pictured left had his entire extended family show up for his season opener. Aunts, uncles, grandma and grandad, sisters and brothers all attended and cheered him on as he proceeded to hit no balls and never reach base. But, he had the crowd on his side, cheering him and his team on at all times!

It's an odd and rather sad state of affairs, but as they grow older, they're lucky to have one parent, or even a best friend show up to cheer for their team.

The kid in the picture (left) seems to know this sad truth already... or else he just doesn't like me!

Close to the LUGNUTS field is a hill where the team likes to assemble and collectively stare into space. Once there is enough of them on the hill, they  seem to spontaniously decide to run down that hill together, with complete abandon.

Remember when running down a hill was the best fun ever? That's why the illoz  name is on the shirt!

I had to be quick to get the photo above. The LUGNUTS don't waste any time when fun is to be had!

Thanks to everyone at ILLOZ for helping to cheer on the fabulous LUGNUTS this fall season! Above pictured is the true field of dreams, as far as I know.

Backwards in illoz baseball time:
The illoz Angels, 2008
The illoz Orioles, 2009
The illoz MudCats 2010
Brian Stauffer September 12, 2011
I spent 5 hours today at both our kid's fall ball games. Lordy! Whatever happened to the lazy sunday?
Scott Bakal September 12, 2011
A sweet post, Zimm!
Paul Rogers September 12, 2011
Two things. 1. the jersey lettering should be the new illoz logo. 2. that kid is well on his way as the future Oscar Gamble.
Dale Stephanos September 12, 2011
Love it Zimm.
Douglas Fraser September 12, 2011
The name is the buzz, Lugnuts!
Mark Fisher September 13, 2011
You make being a kid even better Zimm!
Robert Neubecker September 13, 2011
Marc September 13, 2011
Go, Lugnuts!
Katherine Streeter September 13, 2011
pretty great !-it doesn't get much cuter than this...
Harry Campbell September 13, 2011
Great words Zimm. I've coached a t ball team or two, and f yah just let the buggers run. Sports parents are scary round these parts. T-baill is the only real refuge where they aren't completely insane.
Larry Ross September 13, 2011
Great project you're involved in, Zimm. Baseball should be fun and it obviously is when you're in charge. Great to see the kids playing and mugging.
Paul B September 14, 2011
You might say that coaching kids is a bit like art. You have this basic outline, but when the game starts, things get a bit out of control, and go outside of the lines. And thats the beauty of it! And the FUN!
Christoph Hitz September 14, 2011
Good man, Zimm!
Leo Espinosa September 15, 2011
Never, ever stop doing this, Zimm!
Ellen Weinstein September 15, 2011
cute overload
Lou Brooks September 15, 2011
Great stuff, Zimm, and very well said... and let's not forget that it's not just sports that adults ruin!
Bill Mayer September 17, 2011
Great to see this Zimm.I was so delighted to see this this morning. You are my hero... I coached Little league for about seven years. which was just about the time the kids got taller and had more facial hair than me. Sort of became my mantra for life when things go wrong, just "shake it off and get back in the game..." Keep it going don't ever stop.