It's Outta Here This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   Homeplate - the most sacred symbol the game of baseball has to offer. Dreams aredestroyed and history is made at this white pentagon. There, sliding, winningruns are scored, and strikes are called. This base is by far the most honored.Pitchers work their fortunes and batters position their stroke a few feet aboveits dimensions. To the pitcher, home plate is the center of the universe, andthey hope to keep it clean. The thought of seeing the umpire reach for his brushto wipe off the dirt of a cleat is a nightmare. The batter dreams of stridingacross it and slapping the hands of waiting teammates. Home plate is where themagic happens.

I stood above this object not too long ago. I, however, hadno teammates to congratulate me. I didn't even plan on running the bases. Myfriends and I gather at the local ball field during the summer for a home-runderby. We come to the sandlot to get the greatest satisfaction in baseball - tohit a ball into the next area code.

Growing up, I was the scrawny kid,the last one chosen. They all knew I couldn't get the ball over the fence, but itwas a reality I would not face. I would show up day after day and keep sluggingaway. Sometimes my heart would stop when I thought I got a good piece of theball, but the ball would always hit the fence and come back into play. It wouldkill me to watch my friends hit the snack shack and the power lines when I couldbarely get it out of the infield. I dreamt of hitting a home run and running thebases.

One hot summer day I stepped up to the plate with my LouisvilleSlugger and swung as hard and as fast as I could. When I made contact I think myeyes were closed. My friends and I watched the ball in amazement as it soaredover the fence. All of a sudden all eyes were glued on me as they watched for myreaction - a boy's first home run is a big deal. I jumped for the sky stillclenching the bat and ran the bases. I didn't even realize I ran to third insteadof first until my friend yelled from the outfield. That didn't bother me, though.It was my moment in the sun and I could run the bases backwards if I wanted to. Icrossed home plate that day and turned around to take in what I had accomplished.I looked down at home plate and as clear as daylight you could see my cleat markon its bright white surface.

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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