Sports Fix, The Features

Five Baseball Lessons From Thomas & Billy Heywood

Billy Heywood Played Here
The HHH Metrodome, Summer 2009
Photo byRachel Levitin

Billy Heywood could be integral toward the Nationals having a better than sub-par season. Don’t know who Billy Heywood is? He’s the first and only 12-year-old baseball manager whose team lost to a guy who notched 300 wins in the 2009 season (against the Nationals at Nationals Park) aka Randy Johnson in the 1994 film, Little Big League.

Sure – Billy Heywood is a fictional character from a 90’s sports movie made for children. That is but a mere technicality. Writer Gregory K. Pincus captured what was great about baseball through a 12-year-old boy who, if he were Jim Riggleman right now, would know how to knock some sense into our Nationals before the season gets them down.

Here are five lessons the 2010 Nats could learn from Billy Heywood and his grandpa Thomas:

Lesson One: There’s 162 Games, Don’t Forget

Thomas Heywood: Okay. It’s only May. A lot can happen. [On the Twins losing record] … You’re not making excuses because the Twins are losing? You’re not front runners are you?”

The correct answer in this scenario is: “No way, I’d rather see the worst team ever than go to my grandmother’s,” according to the movie. I agree. As much as I love my grandmothers, going to a baseball game on a school night was always a can’t miss opportunity.

Anything can happen between April and October. Anything. That’s what’s great about baseball. That’s why even the team that loses the most deserves support. They’ve made it through the minors. It took most of them awhile. They deserve fans just as much as the next guy.

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