The First Homerun This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Sprinting onto the baseball field, my blood rushes. Giant oaks and pines that edge the outfield rock back and forth, and the dark green grass sways from side to side. The dry, brown dirt of the infield swirls up into the eyes of the athletes. Our opposing team huddles in its dugout like a bunch of dogs gathered around a bowl of food, plotting to defeat me and my teammates.

During our warmups, the balls whiz by my ears, and I can only think, This is what it's all about. As the game inches closer, we move to the dugouts, and work out a line-up for the game. Excitement mounts as my nerves tighten and my body gets ready to play. The umpires stand in position, the crowd is seated, and we are ready for the opening game of the season.

Running onto the field, we bring with us the heart to play our best game. The first pitch is thrown and the game is underway. Players in the infield are distracted because the wind blows so hard it creates a dirt storm. Particles of dirt infect their eyes, burning and making them water so they can barely see. Dust penetrates their noses and mouths, making them sneeze and putting that earthworm-dirt taste into their mouths so they can hardly breathe.

The outfielders stand majestically on a carpet of dark green, closely cut grass, serenaded by birds in nearby trees. When the wind gusts, the birds are startled and fly away. Freshly blown particles stick to the sweat on our bodies, making us itch.

After a terrific inning, my teammates exit the field triumphantly. As we look out from behind the protective screen of the dugout, we sense with fear our opponents have one of the best pitchers in the league on the mound. Tall as an oak tree and thin as a toothpick, he can hurl his fastball at a speed of ninety miles per hour.

Our lead-off hitter strolls to the plate, taking time to get psyched. Finally, he arrives and gives the pitcher the evil eye. The pitcher glares back, winds up his pitching arm and releases the ball. "Zoom!" Right by the batter. He looks back, stunned, as the umpire screams, "STRIKE!" The batter steps back to the plate, grips his bat with determination and sends a challenging look to the opposing dugout to indicate he's ready to kill the next pitch and knock it over the fence and into the trees. The right-handed pitcher pulls the ball behind his head, leans forward, and lets go of a rocket pitch with the grace of a ballerina. The batter swings with all his might, creating a breeze that could cool scalding hot chocolate. The grass seems to turn brown as he races from base to base. Dugout excitement builds as we eagerly applaud the first home run of the season.


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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