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The Baseball Reunion
Dover Field was the place that every little kid dreamed of playing in. As a senior, Chase was finally getting his chance to play here. It was the biggest moment of his athletic career. His team was in the State Championship Game, leading 1 to 0. Chase had thrown the whole game, allowing no baserunners up to this point, and he scored the run for his team.
Chase was on the mound, one more out would win the game. He had been numb to the pressure, but now it all hit him at once. He started shaking, thinking of all the possibilities and what-ifs. Chase gazed into the crowd, scanning it for comfort from his mother, but instead his eyes met those of his father’s. He had not seen or talked to him since 7th grade, which made him furious. Chase’s mind left baseball in the dust for the first time in his life and he started flashing back to the argument that split his family.
Chase knew that if he wanted to get anywhere in sports, he would have to work and work and work. He could not imagine the rest of his life without being a professional athlete at some point. This is what caused his family to break up.
When Chase was in 7th grade, his father asked, “Chase, will you vacuum the house?”
Chase responded, “I can’t because I have to go hit in the batting cage.”
Instead of Chase’s father understanding like he should have, he yelled, “You never help out and all you ever do is work on baseball! You don’t care about anything else!”
Chase’s mother chimed in, “It is a very good thing that Chase cares about baseball so much. You’re just jealous because you were never good at anything.”
This crossed the line for Chase’s father to the point that he ended up packing up his belongings and leaving Chase and his mother.
Chase’s father was also having flashbacks to these moments. He had tears rolling down his face. He was just thinking about how much he has missed out on during the five years that he has been away from Chase and his ex-wife. Chase’s father was thinking back to the argument, as he does every single day, and he was still questioning his decision. Chase’s father wanted to actually be Chase’s father again. He had tried calling Chase and his ex-wife multiple times, but he never got a call or text returned to him, nor did he get any type of response. He inferred that they just did not want him in their life anymore. This devastated Chase’s father. He had always wanted to go see them in person, but he was nervous about what would happen and he figured that it would be more beneficial to give up.
In the weeks leading up to the game, Chase’s father overheard a news report explaining how Chase’s team had made it to the State Championship Game and Chase had carried them there. Chase’s father told himself that he would go to the game and then do whatever he felt was right at the game.
As Chase was looking into his father’s eyes, he stopped shaking and he got his mindset back to baseball. He was just happy that his father picked this of all places to come to. Chase was proud. He stood up tall and continued playing the game he loved. Chase finished out his perfect game, which was the first ever in the State Championship Game of any state.
When the game ended, Chase’s father was too ashamed of himself for crying and he felt that there was no way that anything positive would come out of this, so he left for the parking lot to get in his car and leave.
As Chase’s team mobbed him, all he could think about was his father. He just wanted to give him a hug and talk to him again. He managed to break away from his teammates and he ran to where his father was sitting when he had seen him. His father was gone. Chase scrambled to the parking lot looking for him. Chase saw a man walking in front of him and without even seeing the man’s face, Chase knew that this was him.
Chase yelled, “Dad!”
His father responded, “I'm so sorry, Chase.”
Chase explained, “It doesn’t matter anymore. You’re here now.”
Then, they hugged and cried. Chase convinced his father to come back to their house for dinner. The family was all back together again and after a very fun night, Chase and his mother invited him to stay with them for a few days. This went even better than expected, so they invited him to stay again permanently, just like the old times, and he accepted. They all lived happy lives together, as a family.