A Great Prize | Teen Ink

A Great Prize

October 8, 2013
By Anonymous

Saturday, August 15, 2003. That was the day. The day that I will always remember. The day that changed my life forever. The smell of cooked hot dogs and nacho cheese filled the air, rising though my nostrils as a pleasant cent. Watching the players stretch and warm up made the adrenaline rush through my veins faster than ever. My first professional baseball game was under way and I was zoned in.

Baseball is a very important aspect of my life. Almost every day has something to do with baseball. It started when I was three, playing ball in the back yard with my older brother and father. Now, being eight years young, at my very first professional ballgame made it as if time stood still. Watching how smooth the players were amazed me. They made every play look like it could be done in their sleep. Being brought up playing ball, I was already familiar with the game. I didn’t have to constantly ask questions about what was going on like the other eight year olds there. I just sat back and watched the game take place.

One of the goals of anyone who has ever gone to a professional baseball game is to get a ball that one of the players has played with. Whether it was a homerun ball, a foul ball, or a ball that one of the players tosses to you, as long as you get a ball it doesn’t matter. Considering I was sitting right behind the dugout, my best bet was getting one that the players throw to me. If I were to bring home a ball from the game there would be nothing sweeter. The tightly woven leather held together by bright red seams was a masterpiece that I could not fathom. The only way to describe it would be saying it was as smooth as a baby’s bottom. Throughout the game I would constantly scream at the players running off the field with baseballs in their hands hoping they would throw it to me. Usually it would be thrown to the prettiest girl around or maybe a kid a little younger than me.

As the innings wound down my chances began to grow slim. My Father knew that my anxiety was going crazy. Thinking about the excitement of going home with a game ball; or thinking of the disappointment of leaving empty handed consumed my mind. The final out of the last inning occurred. The player who made the final out ran off the field with the ball in his hand. Looking at him I screamed and shouted hoping he would see me. The player tossed the ball high up in the stands. The ball, rotating in my direction, gently begins to fall down. I reach my hands out for the ball, praying it would fall into my hands. The ball falls two rows in front of me to a man who was tall and strong enough to snag it.

In utter disappointment, it was time at last to leave the ballpark. My father and I start the long walk back to the car. On our way he walks into the shop at the ballpark without even asking me. I walk in behind him and see a few hats that I thought were interesting. After a few minutes he finds me with a sack in his hand and it was time to leave. It takes the walk all the way back to the car to ask him what he got. Without saying anything, he reaches in the bag and pulls out an official league baseball in a bright, shiny case. I snatch the case from him with the biggest smile upon my face.

A ball from my father was greater than any ball that I could get from a stranger. I couldn’t thank him enough for making my day at the ballpark one to remember. That night was one of the greatest days ever, capped off with the greatest prize a young baseball player could ever receive.

The author's comments:
This is very dear to my heart. You should read it!

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This article has 1 comment.

Sergio9 said...
on Oct. 21 2013 at 9:48 am
I read your story and I thought you have a different way of thinking compared to me. I would rather get a ball from one of the player in the game or the ball that was used in the game. I would be happy and excited to get a ball from my dad, but I think it's different. I also go watch the professional baseball game and I always try to get a game ball. One time, a gentle old man sitting next to me caught a foul ball then he gave it to me. The ball was not a typical regular ball and it made me up all night. It was a really special moment and thought it was different compared to yours.