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The sun was beginning to set when Bill arrived at the stadium for the big game that night. It was opening night for the Cubs and Bill's first game as a professional baseball player. He was sitting in the locker room with less then an hour till the game began when coach Corey came up to him and said, "Boy, you better get out there and start warming up or else you are not going to get the start tonight."
Bill scampered out of the locker room and on to the field where the rest of his teammates already were. It was really cold out and there were many clouds in the sky. As soon as he stepped out of the dugout, his stomach dropped as if he stepped over the edge of a cliff. He walked out into the infield when his friend and teammate Joe chucked a ball at him and said, "Think fast!" Bill caught it just before it collided with his face. "Hey Billy! You okay?" said Joe. "You look really really Pale. You nervous or something?"
Bill trembled as he said," Yeah, Joe. I have never been in front of this many people before and it's my first game as a pro."
Joe ran over to Bill and told him, "Don't worry about anything and just play the game as if no one was watching."
Bill said, "Yeah, that's easy for you to say since you have been in the big leagues for four years."
Without warning, the announcer came on and asked everyone to stand and take of their hats for the National Anthem. Bill realized that he did not even get a chance to take any ground balls to warm up for the game. After the Anthem was done, the Cub's took the field. Bill took his position at third base and waited for Joe, the first baseman, to throw him a grounder. When Joe threw the ball, Bill was sidetracked by the big crowd and saw the ball sail right through his legs. His cheeks turned bright red and he stood there motionless until he realized what had happened. He turned around to go get the ball when he tripped on his untied shoelace. He muttered to himself as he got back up, "How could this get any worse?"
Up until the fourth inning, everything was going smoothly for the team and Bill. The Cubs were up one to nothing until Will from the Giants came up to the plate. The Cubs pitcher, Frank, was running out of energy and was throwing soft pitches to Will. There was one ball and two strikes when Will ripped a hard grounder right at Bill. As soon as Bill saw it coming towards him he got nervous and Joe could see the shock in his eyes. The Ball hopped off the ground like a frog jumping from trouble and went straight through Bill's legs. The runner on second base, Jake Jackson, rounded third and made it home easily to tie the game at one. One more run came in the inning, and the Giants were winning 2 to 1.
After the inning, Bill was beating himself up in the dugout and saying that he was never going to make it as a professional. Joe came up to Bill and said, "Settle down! It's only your first game! I was not very good in my first game. I missed every possible dig that came in my direction. I was so embarrassed and wanted to drop back down onto the AAA team. Instead, I was patient and I got better once i got used to the bigger crowds. So in the end, you just need to be patient Bill, and I know you will be great!"
Bill did calm down and said thank you to Joe and waited to return to the field. The skies started to clear up a little bit by the time Bill got back out there and it got slightly warmer. He played through the fifth, sixth, and seventh with no errors. In the eight inning, Nick Jarret from the Giants hit a swinging bunt towards Bill and he fielded it perfectly and threw Nick out at first base. This play saved a run and stopped the Giants from going up 3 to 1.
After the inning, Bill was praised in the dugout for his great play. The Cubs still could not score another run in the bottom of the eight. The top of the ninth went by without incidents and no runs were scored. Bill was due up fourth in the bottom of the ninth and he knew that this might be his opportunity to shine. The first two batters struck out and the teams hopes were slightly faded. The crowd stood and showed their appreciation for the teams efforts and cheered on Joe to keep the Cubs alive. The first pitch came to the plate and Joe ripped a line drive over the second baseman's head and into the outfield. It ended up being a double and put him in scoring position. The sun started shinning through the clouds when Bill walked up to the plate. Bill had the chance to tie the game or even be the hero and win it for the Cubs. The first pitch was thrown and it was right at the knees and was called a strike. Bill backed off and cleared his mind and stepped back into the box. It was a hanging curve ball and it was right in Bill's wheelhouse. Bill swung the bat and smacked the ball with all his might and watched as it sailed right over the right field fence into the bleachers. The crowd went crazy and chanted, "BILL BILL BILL!" He rounded first,second, third, and came to home plate where the whole team waited to celebrate with him. He stepped on the plate and everyone mobbed him with excitement and happiness.
Joe yelled to Bill, "You got your wish! You do deserve to be in the big leagues!"