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One Ordinary Boy This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   by A. C., Papillion, NE



Rickey shuffles patiently out of the on-deck circle and into the batter's box, painted just a few hours ago. He nods his right foot up and down three times keeping his toes on the dirt, then gazes with his blue squinted eyes at the thousands of roaring fans packed tightly into Rosewood Stadium.

Rickey often seems to end up in these game-deciding situations. The team trails by a score of 4-3. The final three strikes of the game could be seen by Rickey firsthand if he failed to save the day. Rickey, however, has a way of relaxing and doing what needs to be done in these predicaments ... a quality no one else really understands.

As is usually the case, Rickey's uniform clings uncomfortably to his sweat-covered body allowing a slightly less than usual swinging radius. After a long, deep breath of the humid air, Rickey digs his right foot two inches deep into the hard, unforgiving dirt and proceeds with the rest of his pre-pitch rituals. With knees bent in anticipation, Rickey leans his right shoulder in and allows the first pitch to remain untouched, ending high and away.

Brock Sanders has a tendency to play cat and mouse with the good hitters, tempting them with a few pitches off to the side before heading directly down the middle. He winds up after accepting the call from the catcher and delivers an 83-mile-an-hour fastball low and inside.

Time is now beckoning him to swing for the fence and end this tense moment. Rickey quickly glances at his teammate standing on first base and gives him a brisk nod informing him of his intentions.

With the 2-1 count, Rickey grips the bat loosely, places it gently behind his head and wiggles it around before descending on the curve ball, high in the strike zone. Committing every bone in his body to this pitch, this attempt at glory, Rickey jumps on it and feels the reaction tingle throughout his upper body. Not even looking up to acknowledge his wondrous feat, he tosses the bat aside and begins his victory trot. The ball, experiencing its perfect arc of flight, ended up somewhere far out in the weeds, never to be found.

All the way to first, Rickey smiles inside. Dreams were born and seized upon this field of grass and dirt in the cold suburbs of eastern Nebraska. And men will not remember the names of their old girlfriends and favorite teachers, but they'll remember the day that Rickey won the town's first state championship and played among a team of heroes.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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Babylufin said...
Aug. 17, 2010 at 9:03 pm

Awesome! I loved it! :) Good work!

Please take a look at a story or two of mine, if you have the time. :) I'd appreciate it so much! :D

 
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