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My Dream Come True This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   Driving to Boston, I was still trying to come to terms with what the next several hours would bring. Growing up in a small town in Vermont, I had spent countless afternoons playing whiffleball pretending to be Roger Clemens, Tony Pena and anyone else who wore a Boston Red Sox uniform. Like most kids, I religiously tuned into the games. While my loyalty remains, over the years my enthusiasm faded slightly. It was instantly rekindled, though, when I was given the opportunity to meet arguably the most dominant player of my generation, Pedro Martinez.

After going through introductions with Teen Ink publishers John and Stephanie Meyer and co-interviewer Brian, we rehearsed the questions we would ask. Looking at the stack of note cards that I and many others had labored toc reate, it seemed it would be impossible to find out everything we wanted to know in only ten minutes. We stayed objective, not focusing on baseball questions(which was especially difficult for me), and received some final instructions.

Driving to Fenway Park, I tried to visualize what the moment would be like when Pedro entered the room, and I kept thinking about a friend who had waited for hours to get a Hall-of-Famer's autograph only to throw up on the player when he finally reached him. I didn't feel too nervous, but I was still praying nothing like that would happen.

After we received our press passes we were guided into the depths of the park. That familiar feeling returned as we made our way up the ramp to the stands. I have been to over a dozen games at Fenway, but the same sensation always rushes over me when the dark tunnel erupts into the open sky and bright green grass. I was more than content as we sat for an hour, just feet away from current Red Sox players and some legends from the past. These men, idealized by thousands, were shagging fly balls, takingg rounders, and there was Nomar, talking to his father, just like before any high-school game.

Brian and I sat there discussing the players and broadcasters who walked by, and speaking to a few, but there was still only one person on our minds. After an hour, as doubts were beginning to form, I turned around to see Pedro standing only a few feet away. The moment had arrived.

What followed was an experience I will never forget. At the exact time I was supposed to be taking a calculus final, I was instead sitting overlooking one of the most historic fields in baseball talking with possibly the greatest pitcher who has ever played there. Pedro immediately displayed the friendliness and sense of humor he is famous for, first by wiping off a row of seats for us - then giving us a mock play-by-play of the equipment being set up. It seemed like it would have been easier and less nerve-wracking to sit there and make small talk than to do as we had rehearsed, but our time was undoubtedly limited.

While Pedro responded to Brian's opening question, I read and reread my follow-up, trying to get the wording just right. As he answered his first question with thoughtful, flowing words, I was stricken with a fear that none of my questions would inspire such an interesting response. As a crowd began to congregate behind us, I managed to deliver my question. There was a pause, as all my doubts culminated inside me, before Pedro replied with another extraordinary answer.

As the interview progressed, it became increasingly clear that Pedro has an openness and enthusiasm for every topic, from religion to success to disappointment, so that it felt like you couldn't ask a bad question. He was serious when answering some questions and comical during any awkward moments. Although a crowd of teenagers waited to hound him for autographs once we were done, he acted as if there were no place he'd rather be.

After a full half-hour had flown by, instead of the ten minutes we thought we'd have, Pedro kindly posed for pictures and signed autographs for all who asked. I breathed a sigh of relief. It had gone so well, and I remained in awe at how easily he composed himself. He's a three-time Cy Young award winner, All-Star Game MVP, and nothing short of a god to thousands, yet for that half hour he was so much more than a baseball player. Humble, congenial and enthusiastic, Pedro Martinez is a great person to have in baseball's spotlight.

The amazing day continued as we ate in Fenway's press cafeteria before watching the game from the official press box. The four of us excitedly discussed his answers and jokes as we watched the Red Sox lose.

The next night, while I watched from home as Pedro struck out ten Yankee batters on his way to a victory, I saw him from a different perspective. It was then that it finally sunk in how great it had been to meet the personality who achieves such great accomplishments. He brings happiness to so many, and I believe he would do whatever it took to bring it to more.

One moment that remains in my mind (aside from the excitement of the interview, the game and everything surrounding them) occurred during a pause in the action after Pedro's departure. As Brian and I sat in silence, I watched a continuous stream of people emerge from the tunnel. I especially noticed the children who surfaced, clothed from head to foot in Red Sox apparel with a glove on one hand, who would return to their schools and eagerly tell all their friends about the game. I watched as their eyes filled with amazement at the field and the players, hopeful that one would wave to them or hit a foul ball nearby. It was obvious to me that I used to be exactly like them, filled with an inexplicable feeling when in the presence of my favorite players. And, after that day with Pedro, I realized that in many ways, I still am.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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