"Why is everything pink?" Judith wrinkled her nose as she squinted at a wall of jerseys in front of her.
"You don't like them?" Rick questioned, looking down at his daughter.
Judith stuck her tongue out, leaning against his waist. "You don't wear pink."
"Well, sometimes," Rick countered.
"Not at work."
"I don't want a pink one. I want what you wear," Judith looked up, all wide eyes, her lip poked out. She looked very much like her mother, the same expression, daring him to deny her.
"Ok," Rick steered her away from the new pink-themed collection to a wall of traditional jerseys. "Which color then?"
"Blue," Judith brightened at once, rushing for the racks. In seconds, she reemerged holding a Grimes jersey on a hanger.
"That one's too big," Rick took it, selecting a small instead. It would still come well below her knees but she'd grow into it.
In actuality, the fabric hung closer to her ankles, But Judith looked delighted nonetheless, clinging to her father's hand as he steered them through the clubhouse.
"What are we going to do first?" Judith asked eagerly, practically skipping.
"You're going to meet daddy's teammates," Rick lifted her easily over the top stairs.
"Then what?" she asked, looking around. "That's you!" she exclaimed, pointing at a photo on the wall.
"That is," Rick nodded. In truth, he hated that picture of himself, but if Judith liked it, that was something.
"You look mean," she frowned at it. "Why?"
"That's my game face," Rick explained, holding in his laugh.
"Oh," Judith processed this. "It looks like mommy's face when she's mad," Judith observed.
Rick guffawed loudly. "Don't tell mommy that."
"Ok," she agreed easily, already moving on to the next thing. She released his hand to run instead around the clubhouse, touching everything she could reach. Rick took the opportunity to open the door to the locker room and shout in.
"I'm coming in and bringing in my daughter!" he shouted. "So everybody act like you've got some damn sense."
"Aaron beat you to it," Bob's face appeared, grinning widely. "My baby's in here too. You're late, Grimes."
"He's always late," Judith announced, running towards the door, jersey billowing like a cape behind her. "Mommy hates it."
"I bet she does," Morgan walked in from behind, smiling brightly at Judith. Judith squealed with delight, promptly tackling him around the knees. "Are you coming to take your daddy's pitching spot?" he asked, picking her up in a practiced motion.
"Yes!" she shouted, looking enthused at the mere idea.
Rick smirked, "Maybe you should go throw a few for Morgan. Show him what you've got."
It took three times as long as normal to mobilize the team out of the locker room and down to the field. A group of mini Dodgers was largely responsible, giggling and stopping every few feet to ask questions. By the time they all made it, the sun was high overhead, and the team was eager to get on the field.
"Ok, Judes," Rick walked to the mound, his daughter at his side. Aaron's daughter was settling into shortstop beside her father, and Bob and his daughter had taken first base with panache. "You ready?" he asked her.
Judith nodded seriously, her brow furrowed in a pretty good imitation of her father's game face. She punched a fist into her broken-in glove, staring across the plate at Morgan.
"Should I move closer?" Morgan questioned, standing at home plate.
"No," it was Judith who answered.
Morgan raised a brow in surprise. Rick only smirked.
"You ready?" he asked them both, handing the baseball to his kindergartner.
"Ready," Morgan crouched, glove open.
Judith took a deep breath, hiked up her leg, and threw with all her might. The ball soared across the field, landing in Morgan's mitt with an audible snap.
"Well damn," the veteran catcher explained in surprise. "I think you found your protege, Grimes."
Rick grinned full out as Judith caught the ball that Morgan tossed back. "Show him your curveball, sweetheart," he instructed, bending down to whisper in her ear.
Judith grinned back, kissing her father's bearded cheek before obeying.
"I'm going to take your job, daddy," she told him solemnly, winding up again.
"Can't wait, Judes," Rick nodded proudly, taking a step backwards to give her space.