My Pitcher

March 12, 2012
I could feel his presence behind me as he warmed up on the makeshift mound besides the shed. Does he realize I’m sitting right here, on this bench, less than ten feet away from him? I take the field but there isn’t a second that goes by where I don’t know where he is. After he finishes warming up, he relaxes in the dugout until the game begins. As I jog out to the outfield, I notice that he and the rest of his team have also taken the field. Playing left field, I’m the closest position to the baseball field and can hear almost every call the ump makes. First pitch is thrown and I hear the ump shout ‘strike’! My heart skips a beat for him because I know how much that must have boosted his self-esteem.

As a fellow pitcher, I know how much that first pitch can make a difference to the rest of your performance throughout the game. The inning in my scrimmage is over and as I jog off the field, I glance my head in his direction. The shadow of his cap is covering his eyes and only a small amount of his nose is visible; but somehow, I feel like I would be able to recognize him with or without that cap on.

That inning in my scrimmage was a short one and as I sprint out back into left field, my heart goes out to him. I suddenly realize that he has been pitching for a while and the other teams cheers are without a doubt, not in our favor. Out, stranded in leftfield, I try to listen carefully to what the officials and coaches are shouting. I commend myself for being able to be aware of the count on the baseball field, while still staying focused on my own scrimmage.

After what seems like forever, the inning is over, but not in his scrimmage. While shoving my mitt into my backpack, I look back over at the baseball field, which can only be described as completely chaotic. There is no doubt that he has given up at least a handful of runs and there are more coming in. He scrambles to home plate, hoping to prevent more runners from scoring while the catcher is off doing god knows what.

I truly do feel his pain. As a pitcher, you have complete command of the game, but sometimes, that control can get out of hand and soon the entire game can be blown in a matter of pitches, and it is all your fault. After rounding the bases, my team’s end of practice exercise, I see that his team is finally retreating back to the dugout. Their faces clearly depict as what can only be described as a long and grueling inning. I gather my things and start heading up the hill, to the locker room.

While walking back to school, I take one last look at the field, wishing him the best of luck in the continuing innings.

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