° empty

Three-year-old Gales keeps up with the older kids

Tylon Gales, 3, crouches down near the pitchers mound and waits for an opponent to hit the ball in his direction during a T.M. Jennings teeball game on Wednesday evening. (Jay Sowers / The Natchez Democrat)
Tylon Gales, 3, crouches down near the pitchers mound and waits for an opponent to hit the ball in his direction during a T.M. Jennings teeball game on Wednesday evening. (Jay Sowers / The Natchez Democrat)

By Reina Kempt

The Natchez Democrat

NATCHEZ — As the young boys and girls of the Concordia Bank and Natchez Market tee ball teams got ready to swing their bats, 3-year-old Tylon Gales was still struggling to put on his oversized batter’s helmet.

Gales is one of the youngest tee ball players in the T.M. Jennings Little League, as he just turned 3 years old in February, and his size shows his age.

His youth small Concordia Bank T-shirt hangs loosely off of his body ,and he has a hard time seeing in the standard youth’s batter’s helmet.

But despite his size or his age, his mother, Jeanette Hauer, said her son still wanted to play.

“He saw his uncle (age 6) play tee ball and he wanted to play, too, ” she said.

Hauer said she thought him playing wasn’t possible.

“I thought he was too young to play,” Hauer said. “But they encouraged me to put him on the team. This is the first sport he is old enough to play.”

When Hauer gave her son the good news of eligibility, she said his emotions were high.

“He was so excited to play, he asks me if he has a game every single day,” she said.

But there was more than just pure enjoyment of the game that fueled young Gales’ drive this game. With only a few more weeks left in the season, his father, Jason Gales, stood beside the dugout to watch his son play for the first time.

“His dad works out of town, so it was the first time he got to see him play,” Hauer said. “He was excited to see his dad, and he kept checking to make sure he was still there.”

Besides his father, Gales had an extra incentive to play his hardest.

This was the first time he got to play against his uncle, the person who got him interested in tee ball to begin with.

Gales defends the pitcher’s mound, and before every swing, he squats down and focuses in on the ball. With most of the action coming his way, Gales had his work cut out for him.

Despite the daunting task given to him, he was able to record three outs on the game against Natchez Market, one of which prevented a score.

He also scored once himself; after touching home plate, he ran over and gave his mom a high five. His father smiled at his son’s efforts with pride.

`Hauer said she is just happy that her son found something he wanted to do at such a young age. She said that this just goes to show that he can do anything he wants to do, regardless of age or size.