My First Home Run

April 19, 2017

As a kid, you’re allowed to take yourself wherever your imagination wants to. Many kid’s imaginations are already imagining their dream job and what they want to do when they grow up. As a kid, I was either playing sports, watching sports, or driving to a sports venue to experience the games in person. Naturally, I obtained the dream job to want to be the very best baseball player and ultimately play in the Major Leagues. From the time I started tee-ball to the hours I’ve spent playing high school baseball I still have the same amount of interest and devotion to a game that I’ve loved from the start. Everyone has dreams, and my childhood dream is one that I’ve stayed true to my whole life. My dream was put into reality the day I hit my very first home run and received the baseball that now has a deeper meaning and creates an emotional relationship by what it stands for.
It was a warm spring morning, and I was playing rec baseball at my local park. The wind provided a cool breeze that shaded off the warm spring sun. The morning I woke up, I was very tired from staying up the night before. I get very anxious hoping that I will perform well before every game. My dad and my brother helped to coach the team which made me have a chip on my shoulder that I should perform well because I was the coach’s son. My dad always gave his pre-game speech that I should be the leader of my team and that all the kids were looking up to me. At the time, I probably believed that was true, but now looking back I don’t believe the kids cared enough to think they had to look at me as a leader just because I was the coach’s son. I was always very superstitious before every game, whether it was the way I put on my clothes, or what I ate the night or morning before, I always followed my unique superstitions. On the way to the not far away park, I remember always jamming music to get ready to play for a game as if I had scouts coming to see me for the Major Leagues. I was equipped with my lucky glove and put on all my extra and unnecessary arm sleeves and accessories to be just like the pros. That morning, although I was tired, I was ready to play my baseball game.
I remember playing on Field 2 specifically because it was the field that was the major point of view when going to the park. It was the field that all the little kids couldn’t wait to play on and the field that had the big fence that made it look different from all the other fields. When I stepped on the field my whole mentality changed. The baseball field was a second home to me, a place where I’d come to relieve stress and a place that I came to in order to follow my dreams. I remember being led by my brother in stretches and him being my idol because of his prior success in baseball. I lived to impress my brother, although many times I would take him for granted. As a kid, I didn’t realize how lucky I was to have a brother that was willing to devote a lot of his time to come help his little brother’s baseball team. As I look back on it, my brother became a bigger idol to me when I think about all the willingness and devotion he possessed. As the game begun, I followed another one of my superstitions and prayed before the game. This was a necessity to me because it always seemed like I had a good game if I remembered to pray before and after the game no matter the final score. The game was about to begin, and I was comfortable in my second home.
Although I don’t remember the final score of the game or what I did in my other at-bats, I remember we were playing the Tigers. At the time, my team was the Blue Jays and I remember having the most interest in the button-up jerseys we would receive. This was my first season playing on Field 2 and I remember having the biggest desire to be able to hit it over the tall fence. I played left field one inning and I got a line drive hit to me, I had to be on my toes and make a quick reaction to run to my left where I eventually jumped to rob the batter of a hit. I remember hearing the fans cheering and clapping but since I already had the gear of a professional I shrugged it off like it was a routine play. Looking back, I wouldn’t have changed my attitude because to the fans it didn’t look like I was just shrugging off their congratulations but simply that I was so focused on the game that catching a ball didn’t make me have the desire to smile. Also, it was this same attitude that allowed me to change my purpose of not rewarding myself at the moment that allowed me to learn a new trait of being humble. After that inning, the next thing I know I was now digging into the batter’s box getting ready for my next at bat.
In that at bat, I remember watching a couple of balls go by. It might’ve been one ball and one strike. Previously, my dad and brother had been adjusting my swings so I would be able to use my legs more when I would swing. The only reason I was stubborn to change anything, was because I wanted to do everything the way I would see professionals swing. I didn’t realize at the time that the professionals had a lot more strength and experience than I could’ve ever imagined. I remember in my previous at bat that the other team’s pitcher had never walked anyone, so I decided that I would definitely get a pitch to hit during my at bat. Although I wasn’t as advanced at hitting at the time, as I was always exposed to the game I knew where I would try to hit the ball in almost every situation. Since the count was 1-1, at the time I was probably thinking that the pitcher wouldn’t give me a lot to hit because in the prior at-bats I had hit the ball to the outfield. I knew he would throw strikes but I didn’t imagine the pitcher throwing the ball right down the middle. As the ball was traveling, I remember my eyes getting big because it was a pitch that I knew I would be able to hit. Unfortunately, I fouled off that pitch. Great, now I had two strikes and the count was in the pitcher’s favor. I remember my brother telling me to shorten up my swing with two strikes, like he always did. The next pitch was thrown on the inside corner, I turned on it sending what seemed to me like a routine line drive into the outfield. As I ran to first, I saw my brother’s eyes on the ball not even giving me a sign to go to second or not. Before I reached first base, my brother greeted me with a high five. Since I had never hit a home run before I was very confused as to what that was supposed to mean. It dawned on me when I touched first that I had actually hit a home run. I ran around the bases as fast as I could, as if I was a Major Leaguer and it was no big deal.
That home run ball has such a deep meaning to me that can’t be explained. Living in my brother’s shadow as far as baseball, it meant the world to me to be able to make my brother proud and do something he wasn’t able to at the age I was. I enjoyed having my brother at that specific game, because the home run trot would not have been as magical if it weren’t for his high five that captured all of the pride I felt as I realized what had happened. One of my biggest dreams in life from when I was little was to be like my brother and experience the same amount of success that he did in his baseball career. To hear after the game my dad ask my brother when he hit his first home run was very rewarding that his answer was not as early I had been. The overall emotional relationship I had to the ball consisted of the realization that in order to have success and experience baseball in a way that keeps it fresh and excited, was to remember that I’m not my brother and that I don’t have to live under his shadow. Instead, I can create my own high school baseball career and perform based on what I can achieve rather than looking at my brother and hoping I can do better than him or perform as well as he did.

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