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By Their 30th Birthday
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Game In Progress

A Baseball Story
A Game In Progress
The game is getting down to the nitty gritty and the opposing team is ready to pull ahead if we don’t get our stuff together. Oh well I know I had him, blind ump. The next batter is their number four batter and he is ready to clean up. Meanwhile they have runners on first and third and I now have to guard the line. We can still get out of the inning. The crowd is noisy and the batter is hungry. The first pitch is a called strike so we all feel confident that we can get this guy out. The next pitch is hit at the second basemen who tosses it to the shortstop, who covers second and then he throws it to first to get the DP.
 
All right we are out of the inning and now we have last at bat. I know the only way I will get up again is if the first two guys get on base and there are no double plays. I know we are going to do it. I can feel it. In fact we are all psyched up to beat this team, especially since our coach was tossed from the game. It is our game to win. I am batting in the second position but before me are our catcher, then our pitcher and # one batter. We have to win. This is our chance to advance and go on to play for the trophy. I know that Tom who is the assistant coach will bat someone for Jerry but Mike has got to do something, at least get on first. Mike steps up to plate; he is a good consistent hitter and can usually get on base when it is needed. All right Mikey you can do it. The ball comes over the plate and the umpire calls ball one. Mike steps out of the batter box and checks with the third base coach for signals. He has gotten the swing away one. Mike steps back in the box and connects with the next pitch. Everyone is on his or her feet as the ball is heading toward the center field fence. The fielder is tracking it, catching up to it as it nears the fence and with one final surge he lifts his glove over his head and Bingo, the ball falls in it as it was just about to leave the stadium and find a place in some strangers hands. That’s one out.
 
Jerry Forth is taken out of the game after pitching a great game, but it is now up to the team to win the game in this inning. No one wants to go back onto the field, that’s for sure. Our pinch batter is Orlando Sepeda who has been hitting the ball well as of late even with his hip injury. Orlando steps up to the plate and he is confident, as he takes a few practice swings. Their pitcher is eyeing him as he stands there in the batters box getting ready to hit the ball. The pitch is a slider and Orlando lets it go as it misses the inside of the plate. “Ball one.” The ump calls. Phew that was close. The next pitch is a curve ball and it goes across the sweet spot of the plate and Orlando hits a single to right field.



All right that’s the way. Bud Gottenhour is the next batter and if he gets on it will be up to me as long as he doesn’t hit into a double play. Three pitches come across the plate and he swings at each one. He is out. It is that time once again when it is me against my thoughts as they race through my mind about the situation I am in.  
I walk to the batters box and with confidence; start my warm up swings just waiting for the ball to come across. I like to crouch down low with my hands choked up on the bat about an inch. I feel the wood and make sure my grip is right. The catcher is doing what a catcher does best, trying to psyche the batter out of his focus. But I am not paying attention all I concentrate on is the pitcher and his motions on the mound. I am trying to get a read on him and watch the coach at the same time on third base. I get the signal to hit away and the pitcher hurls the ball. I watch as it starts to come out of his hand trying to gage what kind of pitch and how to react to it. I step forward and bring the bat off my shoulder and just miss the ball as it goes into the catcher’s glove. Strike One. It was a good pitch I just missed the timing, but I know if he throws another one like that I will drill it into the outfield and drive in the winning run. The crowd is noisy and the runner is anxious to come home to end this game. I am ready as the next pitch comes across and it’s a fast, ball that I connect with and the crack of the bat is loud and the handle is the only part of it left in my hand as the large part of the bat is heading towards the pitchers mound. The ball is traveling towards the right fielder, into the gap. The center fielder is on the run tracking the ball. He dives towards the ball and the crowd is going wild. In an instance my jubilation has come to an abrupt halt and my heart sinks, as I know the fielder has made one heck of a catch and I am out. Three outs and that’s it for this inning. Time seems to stop for a moment as all around me goes silent and time must catch up to the reality of the situation. I hear the crowd again and realize that the fielder has dropped the ball and our runner is heading towards home. All right I did it and I am safe at second as the throw is wide to the catcher. We win the game.
This story was written by Saul Applebaum.


About the Author
Aron Wallad has been a baseball lover for over 45 years. His passions have included; playing, watching, reading, evaluating, and coaching the game he adores. Do you love inspiring quotes, unusual statistics and most of all, heartwarming baseball stories? If you love baseball you will love his baseball ezine.

Go here right now to join his ezine http://www.baseballsprideandjoy.com/index.php?tag=goart


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