The teams were picked and the lineups were announced. I was batting third. I could not wait to hit. Hitting to me was like eating for a fat man with a tapeworm. I lived for the experience. I knew even before I batted that I would get a hit. I was so young and cocky!
After the first two guys on my team made outs, I strolled up to the plate, as confident as Babe Ruth – pointing to center field in the 1934 World Series when he called his famous home run. Digging in and sneering at Donnie, I was determined to smack that pill. First pitch was a high and tight fastball.
I got out of the batter’s box and stared at Donnie. I was thinking of a fastball for his next offering. I was right. The ball came in so big. I could see the red seams on the ball. Boom! I connected on that real sweet spot on the bat. All batters love that sound.
That crack that sounds so solid. Pitchers hang their heads when they hear that noise. It’s like the strike of chalk on a backboard, they hate it. The ball jumped off my bat and sailed over the left and centerfielder’s heads. It was a shot and a half. As I rounded the bases I got a glimpse of Mr. Ginsburg, the high school coach, watching me round the bases. This was Major League stuff.
A few innings later…..
Gazing at Donnie, I thought how much more determined he looked, as I went to bat for the second time. His brow was crimped and his eyes were staring. With a runner on first he was pitching from the stretch. His leg glided toward home, his arm raised high, he flung the ball at me. I do not know what kind of pitch he threw.
What I do know is that I hit a rocket about 15 feet over the third baseman’s head down the left field line. As the ball rolled and rolled I scampered around the bases as if I was being chased by some animal. I saw home plate in my head as I ran. And as I rounded second base I again saw Coach Ginsburg now watching the outfielders race after the ball.
I hit third base with authority and sped home for my second round tripper in two at bats. My teammates congratulated me. The stands were buzzing again. I remember my friends jumping up and down with big smiles on their faces.
I felt wonderful. Two times to bat. Two home runs, against our high school star pitcher. This game was a fantasy baseball dream come true. I was Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Willie Mays all rolled into one that day.
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