I'm getting old
It wasn't long ago that I was the little boy playing in the grass in the outfield instead of paying attention to what was going on in the infield.
It wasn't long ago that my parents loaded the minivan with lawn chairs three times a week and carted me out to Shelby City Park to watch me turn into a decent little baseball player.
I mastered machine pitch by my second year playing but none of it mattered when I turned 11 and stepped into a batter's box hoping not to get hit by another kid who thinks he can throw a curveball. And I'll never forget the first time I took a pitch in the back, neither will my mom who had to be held back every time I even came close to getting hurt on the field.
I went through my fair share of batting stances, gloves and team sponsors. I played nearly every position and had plenty of great moments to go along with a handful of strikeouts.
I have a scrapbook full of scores that have me listed as a top hitter or winning pitcher. Now I've come full circle.
Now it's my turn to assure kids have the same memories chronicled the way that I did.
Instead of little Travis' picture being in the paper, big Travis is behind the camera snapping shots of double plays, big swings, stolen bases and plays at the plate.
I'm watching parents planted in their lawn chairs keeping scorebooks and making mental notes that they'll always hold onto.
Now I'm the man responsible for young boys and girls seeing their name in print. Instead of filling my scrapbook with newspaper clippings I'll be filling others.
It's a hard reality to swallow at times. Just watching high school baseball on a weekly basis has me reminiscing about my playing days and how I wish I still had the ability to play.
Now as I planned my summer coverage I pulled out my old scrapbook and found countless clippings and pictures. I even saw a 1997 edition of The Shelby Star that featured an 8-year-old version of myself staring down a pitch and hacking away.
But there's nothing I can do. The hands on the clock will continue to move and as I await my 24th birthday in just 10 days ... I'm only getting older.
So instead of thinking back to my younger days and how I could have done a few things differently and wishing I could have another day on the diamond, I'll focus on being the best small-town journalist I can be and bring the readers of this newspaper the information I valued so much as a child.
So bring on the long nights and muggy weekends. I'm ready to capture some unforgettable moments.