- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
You’ve made it this far. Your goal of being called a champion seems a lot closer than it did the first time you took a swing off that tee.
You haven’t lost yet, but the fear of the next game ending with the other team celebrating still aches at the back of your head.
I think the feeling of possible tragedy forces you to pick a baseball up, place it on the same batting tee, swing and repeat until you believe the upcoming pitcher gets a feeling of doubt in his head.
The pitcher is two hours away when he gets a random urge. Something inside is telling him the team up the road has a few hitters in the lineup who think they overmatch anyone who dares to take the mound.
The question that comes up in his head is, ‘Do I dare take the mound?’
He dares. He wipes the sweat off his head with the back of his hand, looks down at a beat up baseball, picks it up and stares at an empty batter’s box.
The catcher for the team is packing his gear up when he notices the team’s number one pitcher is on the mound. There is nobody else in sight, so he begins to wonder about the intensions of the lonely pitcher.
Then, the catcher gets a glimpse of a beat up baseball in the pitcher’s hand. Piece by piece, the catcher takes the gear back out and puts it on. He walks behind the plate, squats, and puts one finger downward indicating he wants the fastball.
The pitcher throws. He continues until the sun goes behind the trees and he can barely see the catcher’s signs. The catcher, bruised up from blocking poorly thrown balls, shakes the pitcher’s hand in confidence that the next game the kid standing In front of him will pitch the game of his life.
Coach is just passing the field when he notices the trucks of his players are now exiting the field.
The coach is stunned for a second, and then thinks to himself, “It’s definitely playoff time.”
Jeffrey Morgan Patuxent senior