Ah spring — the time when we see warmer days and new life sprouting up all around us. It’s also the time when we start to see bats begin to swing on ball fields across the country. Last week, I headed back to my home town in New Jersey for a quick visit, and while there, got to enjoy a flashback to my childhood – opening day of girls’ softball season. My little cousin made her softball debut on what was an unusually hot spring day. I’m not sure how much any of the girls really loved playing under the pounding sun – but they sure did give it their all before the packed stands. One thing that has changed since her mom, aunt, and I were her age – they now let the little ones wear padded clothing, face masks, and even helmets in the outfield if the want. It would have been real, real nice to have those things all of the times we got clobbered with softballs when we were little (I mean, they call them soft but, come on, who are they kidding? :-).