My Baseball Crusade, How I learned to keep the Baseball Bible and score a guy

June 27, 2008
By Carolyn Schmidt, Berlin, NJ

Since the first day of school, when I first saw him in my second period Pre-Calc class, I had a crush on him. His piercing blue eyes made my knees weak and his sarcasm could make any girl laugh. He said to his friend, “Derek, how about them Phillies?” From that point on, it was my crusade to learn everything there was to know about baseball.
It was early summer, and I was sitting in homeroom waiting to take the High School Proficiency Assessment. “There’s no test that can determine your future,” Derek would say. When we finally had a five minute break, on the TV, Mr. Christ said the baseball team was currently looking for managers. I turned around and said to Derek, “Aren’t you on the baseball team?” ”Yeah,” he said, “but you don’t want to be the manager, trust me.”
I looked at this as a new challenge. Would this be what could help me with my Crusade?

The next morning in pre-calc I brought up the idea that I would be the manager to the other baseball boys. They told me I was crazy. I wanted to shed my cheerleader image and impress Matt. This was perfect. How hard could it possibly be to count how many points a team could get? They run in, score a point, and you tally it.

The next morning I convinced my friend Amanda to be apart of my shell breaking idea. She was hesitant at first but after school we met with The Lord, Mr. Christ, the baseball coach. I walked up to him, shook his hand, and said, “You just found your new baseball managers.” He chuckled. He wrote our names down and told us he would get back to us.

After a week passed I had lost hope. Maybe baseball wasn’t my new calling. Then Derek found me at my locker, which is usually hard for him considering there’s only one locker that closes the gap between us. He told me that Mr. Christ wanted to see Amanda and me after school. I was nervous. What if he wanted to tell us that he already found managers? Amanda told me at lunch that one of the other baseball boys had told her the same thing Derek told me.

When we finally finished our lunch, we headed down the hallway to see Mr. Christ. That particular day the hallway seemed like it would never end. Finally we reached his room. He wasn’t there, and I knew he had a class that period because Derek was in it. Amanda and I waited patiently. This would be so embarrassing if we weren’t managers. Mr. Christ said, “Girls, you got the job, I’ll see you after school to teach you about The Book.”

We were baseball managers who knew nothing about baseball. We stayed after to learn the game. I felt dumb when we learned that you scored runs and not points. It was overwhelming learning all of this new information. If they struck out swinging it was a K and if they struck out looking it was a backwards K. This was definitely going to be a challenge. I was in luck, though. Rumor had it that Matt was pro at keeping The Book. This would be my way in.

By the end of pre-season, Amanda and I were both almost pros. The first game was against Timber Creek and we were both nervous. Mr. Christ said, “Girls you have to keep this book very accurate. It can determine if one of the boys gets a scholarship or not.”
As if that wasn’t enough pressure, Matt put his bag next to me and gave me a smile. I was about to melt, but I knew I had to get a hold of myself. Although we lost the game, Amanda and I were improving at score keeping, but we kept getting mixed up with fielder’s choice, pass ball, and wild pitch.
During each game, when it was my turn to do The Book, and when Matt wasn’t pitching, he would sit next to me and watch closely as I made small mistakes that he would always fix for me. After our first few games, Matt and I would talk more. I had begun buying him Gatorades for every game, making sure I only bought the non-red ones. It was amazing how baseball could bring people together. Win or lose I decided that wasn’t what mattered. What mattered were the people I was surrounded with because they were the ones that could change the mood of the game. We could be loosing and the coaches would be mad at our careless errors, but the team would be in good spirits.

By the end of the season the team was 8-15. Matt had asked me out on five dates and we began going steady. The friendship between Amanda and I had grown stronger from the beginning of the season. It turned out learning baseball brought me closer with Matt and Amanda. It taught me that Crusades are never impossible.

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