This spring, I have found a new rite of passage. The game day car ride.

With a trunk full of Gatorades, baseballs and every ballplayer’s favorite — Big’s sunflower seeds — my nine-year-old son Rye and I depart woodsy West Tisbury for Veira Park in downtown Oak Bluffs.

We don our Dodgers caps, lower the windows and turn up the tunes.

Rye’s first request is his pitching/strikeout anthem Another Bites the Dust. We dissolve into guilty giggles at our horrendous sportsmanship.

Next, Rye may play Tonight’s the Night. Car dancing ensues as we ride the gentle twists of Lambert’s Cove Road.

In between songs, Rye spills Little League gossip, which is getting juicier as we move through the playoffs. This weekend the season ends with the championship games at Penn Field.

“Henry said the Giants just beat the Rays. If Emmett has to rest his arm, we can beat the Rays, too,” Rye tells me.

I love the reports amongst best buddies on different teams, the upsets that happen in the AAA league and the ways in which everyone develops over a season. My response to Rye’s musings is usually, “Anything is possible in baseball.”

Sometimes, we stop to pick up teammates or friends on the opposing team. The guys love generating ideas for trick plays and adding songs to our playlist. I look in the rearview mirror and take a picture in my heart of these baseball cuties. I reflect that so much about their season isn’t even about the game — it’s about the post-game pizzas or pool parties, just feeling like they are part of a group.

As we cross the drawbridge, the sky is so blue I can feel it. A salty breeze rushes through our car.

Coming into the homestretch by the P.A. Club, I think about how lucky I am to be taking my healthy child to do something he loves and for the chance to help coach a group of kids and maybe reach them on a level that’s about more than baseball.

I feel Rye pushing his feet on the back of my seat as he ties his cleats, while also pushing me for insider info: “Do you think I’ll catch?”

“Anything is possible,” I say. “How’s the knee?”

“Fine. I’m wearing my brace.”

Our last song is usually Centerfield, a favorite of my baseball-loving father. I reach back and give my boy’s leg a squeeze, customizing words, “a blue-eyed handsome man rounding third . . . any mom can understand the way I feel.”

I can’t believe Rye still allows me to sing out loud — with friends in tow.

Driving down Wing Road, I glimpse the small wooden sign reading, Veira Park and consider what a treasure this old timey field is, with its stands, scoreboard and shed. What else do kids need?

A rainbow of banners decorates the outfield fence showcasing the community’s support. A volunteer lines the infield with a can of white paint. Baseballs fly as early birds play catch. The spirit of the season is alive.

I scope parking spots, trying to avoid foul territory while remaining close enough for all the gear I schlep. I barely put the car in park before Rye is running out with his glove on, ready to throw with his teammates.

The ride is over. Like the baseball season, it all goes by too fast.

As I trail my favorite Dodgers player, I sense how our Centerfield song evokes some of the raw beauty of youth sports. I put on my glove and stride towards the Dodgers who are already warming up with a game of catch, humming: “Just to hit the ball and touch ‘em all — a moment in the sun.”

Moira Silva lives in West Tisbury, coaches the Dodgers and is on the board of directors for the Martha’s Vineyard Little League.

The Little League Championships take place on Friday and Saturday at Penn Field in Oak Bluffs. For a schedule of games, visit