When I was in seventh grade, I belonged to the most ass-backward Little League in the English-speaking world. For a start, some of the teams had major-league nicknames (although random ones, like the Rangers and Mariners, instead of obvious ones, like the Yankees and Mets), and others did not (like the Stallions). Because some Awfully Clever Somebody thought it would be super awesome to "think outside the diamond"--which loosely translates to "enable boys on real teams to ridicule those on teams with dopey fake names."
I was one of those lucky, latter youngsters, and my team was called ... wait for it ... the Doughboys. Who might have been named after 1) the freckle-faced fighting force that licked the Kaiser, or 2) our coach, who weighed at least 300 pounds and spent our games at the end of the bench, chain-smoking and barking orders.
Adding insult to insult, our uniforms consisted of white pants and bright-yellow jerseys, caps, and stirrups, all of which made us look like fried eggs. Garish, sunny-side-up, and mortified.
You can therefore imagine my reaction when Robert's tee-ball coach reached into his cardboard box of fun and produced these:
They've got black trim, which mutes the visual cacophony a bit. But when you walk up to your kid's coach expecting a black jersey bursting with badassness, and instead he hands you a smear of French's mustard, it can spike your diastolic. Especially if you've still got a little PTSD from your ridiculous seventh-grade team, which won one game. By forfeit.
The interesting thing was the sponsor. I couldn't place it as a neighborhood business, as most of them are, so my mind went a-wandering. It was probably a nail salon, I thought. Or an Air Force battalion. Or an escort service. Or this person.
Then came all the Opening Day speeches, but during the obligatory thank-yous to the sponsors, they never mentioned "Ms. Jay." Ah, I thought. So it is an escort service.
It turns out, though, that Ms. Jay was a beloved teacher at a nearby school, and every year her widowed husband sponsors the Angels personally, in her memory. Which makes me just a little more proud to be associated with this team, eggy or not.