A Night in the Life of a Terrified Baseball Player

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The soft crunch of clay
Beneath the spikes of my cleats
One after another, just the dull crunch
And nothing else had sound
Once they stopped, I was standing still
My feet at the edge of the home plate
It was dull, rough, smudged, and the brown
Clay was spread across its surface
The plate was lifeless, but it seemed full of
Life, taunting me, knowing the
Ultimate prize of a base runner was the last
Stomp, sinking the metal teeth on the bottom
Of my cleat into the dirty surface, it made me
Anxious, nervous, full of anticipation, so many things I couldn’t process
My coach saw my gaze shift towards him
To me he was just a blue shirt, trimmed in golden words
He delivered a flurry of signs, my chest tightened
My eyes frantically searched the signs for instructions
Nothing
Just swing the bat, simple as that
But it wasn’t
Everything seemed against me that night, the
Time, air, surroundings, all of them
The air held its breath
The time stopped its clock
The field disappeared
Just myself, a pitcher, and a thousand miles between us
My heart was racing
My palms were sweating
My mind melted, oozing from
My mouth, nose, ears
The pitcher threw his pitch
And suddenly I had no control
My body reacted, first my arms, then my hips, and lastly my feet
Pulling me toward the spinning white ball
My bat smashed into the ball
And a million things came alive
Like the buzzing shock left in my hands electrified
The world around me
The wind screeched, the crowd leapt in awe
And a small white dot hurled into the night sky
Coaches yelled, the crowd screamed
And I heard nothing, only my head telling me to run, and I did
By the time I was standing on first base, the atmosphere had died
In the middle of centerfield, stood a player, who launched the white dot
Back to the pitcher, the muffled cry of the umpire confirmed what I already knew
Maybe I was out, but I was also free
Until, of course, I had to bat again





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