Born To Be Wild

January 20, 2009
By Luke Etnier, Decatur, IL

College scouts in the stands, a 1-2 count, men on 2nd and 3rd, game is tied with 2 outs, there is a lot of pressure on the next pitch. So much stress for something that will happen in under two seconds. I know that pressure is just an opportunity, and that good players want the pressure. But yet, I remain focused and ready. As the pitcher wound up and threw, I picked up the curveball spin immediately as the ball left his hand. It started at my eyes so I knew it would break right down the middle. Wait for it, wait, wait, swing. Crack! I hit a line shot right back up the middle and the man on third came home and scored. We had won.

Everyone came and congratulated me on the hit, except for the one person who never came to my games, my dad. He’s been out of my life since I was about four. My mom said he was always at the bar drinking and one day my mom had had enough. So, she kicked him out. But, there’s no point in talking about him.

On the positive side a scout from the University of Southern California was there and he came up to talk to me.

He started off the conversation by shaking my hand and saying, “way to come through in the clutch kid.”

“Thank you sir, and thanks for coming, I said, trying to show some manners. We talked a little bit longer and he seemed interested. He told me USC could use a 2nd baseman like me, since their 2nd baseman this year is a senior. He also asked me to go down and work out with them sometime. Of course I said yes, but, my family wasn’t exactly rich. And the way gas prices are these days, driving from Iowa all the way to California might be stretching it a little bit. So, I made up my mind that I would discuss this with my mom later, after the huge party at Danny’s that is.

I got home, showered up, and got ready to go over to Danny’s. In my car on the way there, I began thinking about this party and USC. If I get caught, my career in baseball is basically over. No USC, no chance for the MLB, just school, which I wasn’t very good at. So, I decided I’ll go, but I will not drink.

When I arrived at the party everyone was going crazy. And at that point, I realized that what I thought about in the car, drinking, was going to happen. So I went around drinking and carrying on like an idiot. The last thing I remember was tripping before I passed out.

Ouch! What is that pain in my stomach? I barely opened my eyes to see a cops foot lodged into my gut to wake me up.

“Get up boy. Looks like your out of luck this time,” the cop said as I turned and puked all over his shoes.

They took me home to my mom and told us my court date was in a week. My mom, of course, got very upset and disappointed. She took away my car, looks like no USC, my phone, and I wasn’t allowed out of my room unless I was eating or using the bathroom.

So basically this has been the worst week of my life, but today is my court date. I was completely drenched in sweat walking up to the judge. It turned out not to be so bad. I glad to take an underage drinking class for 10 days, and pass the test at the end.

That class was so stupid and boring, but I finished on time and passed with an 88% on my test. I was free again.

I had a meeting with the school board and they said I had been punished enough, so they let me back on the team. First game back was tomorrow.

Our team had warmed up and we were ready to play. I looked in the stands, and as expected, no USC coach. They don’t want a trouble maker. I did happen to see a scout from a Division II school in Indiana called St. Joseph’s. I knew my college hopes were on this game.

I had a throwing error in the field, but other than that I played really well. At the dish I went 3-4 with two RBI’s (runs batted in), and one stolen base. We had also won 5-2.

The scout came up to me after the game and told me good job. He also said they have been scouting me for a while. I probably just didn’t notice because I was so fixed on USC. He told me they would offer me tomorrow.

I got the offer in the mail. I got offered a full ride to St. Joseph’s. I pulled out my pen and signed right then and there. Life, was good.

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