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Summer its finally here, the warm weather the nice shining sun, I just cant wait to see what it brings and the best part of it, no school! My name is Michael, Michael Robertson; I live in a normal sized town in the state of Iowa. I am thirteen years old and
I am a normal teen kid growing up in a normal town, but little did I know this coming summer would change my whole life forever. DING, DING, DING the bell went off, finally the last day of school is over I thought to myself. Things just couldn’t get any better, I jetted out of my classroom like a rocket, I rushed to my locker entered the combination and grabbed all of my stuff and put it into my book bag.
I started down the hallway going towards my best friend Jim, he was at his locker, he was a kid of normal height with short brown hair with some freckles on his face you would think he’s kind of younger than he looked but he had a funny personality and we had been best friends since preschool. He was standing in a group of people towards the front lobby door in the hallway they were all looking at something but I couldn’t really tell. I went to him and asked,
“Hey Jim what’s going on?”
“It looks like two kids are about to get into it out on the front lawn!” He replied
“Really! Who is it?” I said in excitement.
“Its john Baines and Brandon Austen and they look pretty mad!”
Fighting wasn’t to much of a big deal at our school but I guess since it was the last day of school everyone was so hyped up that they just couldn’t wait to see something cool go on. Our group rushed outside and quickly made a circle around the two kids that was about to get into it. Now I wasn’t favoring any of the kids to win, but to really be honest I didn't care for either kid. Brandon was a more muscular kid with blonde curler hair and john was about the same size of Brandon but had black hair and a skinnier build. Quickly after we got outside Brandon and john started to talk trash to each other.
“My family hates your drug stricken family you good for nothing piece of trash” Brandon said with a rage stricken tone.
“What could I have possibly done just to tick you off so much?” John said with a nervous remark.
“Your family is making my dad miserable with him having to work on cases of busting them with drugs all the time! ” Brandon said angrily. Brandon’s dad was the chief of police and since the town we live in has really high drug rates you could imagine how busy and tired his dad is.
“You know it’s not really my fault that your dad is busy and tired all the time and frankly you talking down to my family is really pissing me off!” John said with a viscous tone.
“Really well your family is really pissing my dad off so im going to beat you up for making him miserable!” Fist started to fly and it wasn’t looking pretty Brandon tackled john and started to pound his face in we could hear the punches connecting with his skull, john managed to get Brandon up off of him and he stumbled back a little then john made a flying leap up at Brandon and knock him on his backside, after a little bit the principle came rushing out of the schools front doors.
“You damn kids get into my office now!” The principal dragged both the kids threw the door while each of them was trying to attack each other.
“What a nice way to end the school year” Jim said, “An awesome fight and now baseball is starting, I just can’t wait!”
Oh ya baseball I thought to myself for a moment, I had completely forgot about it since I was all focused on the fight.
Ah baseball in my opinion one of the best sports in the world. You just can’t go wrong with it, it brings people together its competitive and when you win it’s just the best feeling in the whole world.
“Its about time to get the team together right Michael?” Jim asked
“Yes” I replied, “it is about time.”
Jim and me headed to my house where we went to draw up some papers on who played what position. The paper just came in on who's on our team this year, we read threw it aloud, “Bobby Armstrong, Jason Conroy, Zach Frayne.
“That’s five counting me and you Jim it looks like it’s all the same people that we had last year.” We finished saying the names till we got to the last name
“That guy couldn’t catch a cold let alone a baseball!” Jim said angrily.
“ Ya I wonder how he got onto our team?” I replied
“ Well he certainly will be playing right field then.” I said
“Ya no kidding.” Jim replied
I woke up early the next day excited for our first baseball practice.
My mom had made me breakfast, “Scrambled eggs and bacon with orange juice?” I said
“ Breakfast couldn’t be any better mom!” My mom came over rubbed my brown hair and said
“Go have fun playing baseball son you got to start practicing so you can win the tournament this year.”
The tournament I thought, last year we came in third place out of ten teams, which isn’t bad, but our team the Marlins haven’t won a tournament since the day baseball came into this town. “Well im off to my first practice mom ill be back around sevenish!”
“OK son have fun and be safe!”
I made my way to the field, when I got there I saw seven of my fellow teammates they all looked ready to practice, then I noticed that we were missing one fellow player.
“Hey were is John Baines at?” I said
“His family probably got busted with drugs again and he finally got sent off to juvenile.” Jim said with a jokingly tone
“Hey guys if he’s on our team then were going to be friends with him OK?” I didn’t have too much respect for John but if he was going to play on our baseball team then were going to treat him as a friend. About another five minutes passed and John had finally showed up, his left eye black and face bruised up from the fight a day ago.
“Hey guys sorry im late I had trouble finding the baseball diamond.” he said we a nervous voice.
“ Its no problem I said, “Were about to do some drills.”
“Drills?” he replied, “what are drills?” he said
“We throw grounders and pop fly’s to each other and it helps us work on picking them up and what not.”
“ I'm sorry but I have no clue on anything about baseball.” he said in a serious voice.
Bobby Armstrong replied with a mean tone “ Do even know what a glove is, because seriously we cant deal with this all season either you figure out this sport or don’t even bother playing on this diamond again!” Bobby was a bigger kid and he was one to make comments that you just didn’t want to hear some times.
John replied “ I don’t even own a glove or bat or a baseball, honestly the only reason I'm even here is because my dad wants me out of the house more.”
“Why so you cant see him shooting up on something.” Bobby said in one of his mean comments, the team started to chuckle at him and Johns face was getting red with anger.
“OK” I said, “why don’t we start practice and John you can barrow my extra glove that I brought in my bag of baseball equipment. We started to practice and I threw many grounders to the team and every time john came up he would completely miss it or he would fall, the team laughed at him but I did not, I felt more sorry for him then anything else. Practice was over and everyone went home, everyone except John and me, I decided to stay an extra hour with him to help him out with his baseball skills.
“Ok lets work on you throwing,” I said.
When John threw the ball came whizzing right at me and the ball hit my glove hard I paused for a moment and realized he had thrown a really great throw. I thought to myself let see how he pitches.
“Hey John could you get on the pitchers mound for me?”
“Ok” John replied. I showed him how to throw the ball properly and told him how to hold the seems on the ball.
“Ok let me get the glove from the bag real quick.” I quickly ran over to the bag and grabbed the catcher’s mitt I went behind home base and crouched down in the catcher’s position. “Ok John throws the ball.” I said, John threw the ball and I could hear the wind riding off of it, I caught the ball and I yelled, “strike!”
John asked, “What does that mean?”
I replied, “It means our team just might have found its new pitcher.
The next day came along and so did the next practice, we all met at the same field as yesterday and I could already see john improving on his baseball skills he came with another black eye on his face but I didn’t think of anything, I assumed that it was from the fight two days ago.
“Hey John” I said
“Ya?” he replied
“Do you want to show everyone your pitching skills?” I said excitingly.
“Um ok, but im not sure I have any skill?” he said nervously
“Ya what skill could he have.” Bobby said
“Shut up and let him try Bobby!” I said angrily
Bobby went and got down in his catchers stance behind home plate as John was getting up to the mound.
“OK throw the ball John!” Bobby said
“OK here it comes” John said
John threw the ball it whizzed down the line straight as can be and hit the glove with great force; Bobby quickly drew his hand back in pain.
“Were did you learn to throw like that!” he said in excitement.
“Honestly that’s the second pitch that I have thrown since ive played baseball.” He said with a serious tone.
“Hey will see if you have got more skill than me though!” said Zach Frayne.
Zach Frayne was our team pitcher he was kid that was short for his age but was as tough as nails.
“You not going to let this kid come in here John and just take my spot like that!”
“OK then, will have a throw off!” I responded.
“What’s a throw off?” John asked
“Its when you see who can throw the most strikes in a row and...” Zach finishing my sentence said
“ Whoever throws the most strikes gets to be the starting pitcher,” Zach said competitively.
The throw off began and things were starting to heat up neither person giving an inch, Zach was looking nervous and mad at the same time because inside him he knew he might lose.
“Ill admit your good john but your going to have to play better than that to beat me!” Zach said aggressively.
“Alright then.” John said
The throw off went on for another five or so minutes and eventually John got wore out and lost the throw off, but I still believed that he had more skill than Zach.
“Oh ya im the best pitcher on this team and everyone just saw me dominate to!” Zach yelled in triumph.
Ok guys lets finish our drills and go home are first game is in like a week.
A couple days past and my team and I were all starting to work together a little bit better each day we would practice pitching with John to help him improve little by little, then finally our first game finally came along. The only time we ever have coaches around are during games, because the people who run the baseball program believe that it should be the kids responsibility to come and practice on their own. The reason we have coaches is someone to work the books and run the batting order.
“It looks like a beautiful day for baseball today folks please keep quite during our countries national anthem!” said the announcer.
After the national anthem played we all got ready for our first game against the tigers. The first inning went by smoothly, me Zach and bobby all scored, so the score at the moment was 3-0.
“Ok guys let’s play good defense out there!” are coach said.
The next few innings past and the score were up 7-6 and things were starting to get heated up.
“Zach pulled his arm!” the coach said “we need someone to pitch for him right now!”
“Ill do it!” said john
“But john you have never pitched in front of a crowd before!” I said nervously.
“I know but Zach is out and the tigers best hitter is up, and I cannot allow us to lose our first game because of a silly injury!” John said with pride.
“Ok lets get out on that field and win our first game of the season!” yelled the coach
“Go Marlins!” yelled the team
We all ran out to our positions we switched John and Zach positions so Zach was playing right flied. This was the final pitch this would prove if John has what it takes to play in front of a crowd, the opposing teams batter came up with a confidant gleam in his eye, I could tell it made John nervous but he stood his ground.
“Ok” John said to himself
“fingers on the seams and then right over the plate.”
John got in the stance sweat dripping from his brow, he chucked the ball with great force for a kid his age, and then the batter swung and missed the ball by a mile
“STRIKE ONE!” yelled the umpire.
“One down one two to go.” John said under his breath
He got back into his stance, John and the batter were giving each other the death stare, tension was building up fast and john quickly threw the ball and then a noise rang threw the field, DING! The batter had made contact with the ball, but it seems that it was a foul.
“STRIKE TWO!”yelled the ump
This is it no turning back I was ready at short stop and the team was all ready out in there positions. John threw the ball with a force that I have never seen before, it past over home plate and then BANG! The ball made contact with the glove, which mean the player was out.
“YES!” yelled the coach
Everyone on the team ran and picked john up rooting for him at the top of their lungs. But I only knew that their joy wasn’t going to last for long because we still had at least nine more teams to face and each of them were harder than the other.