I Remember ... Real Baseball | Teen Ink

I Remember ... Real Baseball MAG

By Anonymous

   I was eight years old in 1989, and I spent my days making themost out of my childhood. My parents had signed me up to playLittle League baseball, and while I didn't think it was thegreatest thing, I enjoyed it.

One day my league held araffle. The winner got to join other winners for a baseballclinic hosted by one of the Texas Rangers. I thought, Wow, areal baseball stadium with a real baseball player talking tome!

Over the next few weeks my interest in the gamegrew. I spent countless hours flipping through the channels onTV hoping to find a game. I would marvel as George Brettrounded the bases after a home run, watch intently as OzzieSmith made a highlight film play to get the out at first, andstand up and cheer as Nolan Ryan blew a fastball by a batterfor strike three.

Finally, the day came for me to go tothe ball park for what seemed like my date with destiny. Idonned my Little League uniform and headed to the park with mydad and grandfather, the other two biggest baseball fans Iknow. I joined a group of kids sitting on the grass in leftfield, waiting for it all to begin. The first "real"baseball player I had ever seen appeared. It was third basemanSteve Buchele; he was wearing his uniform. I stared at him inawe as he drilled us all on different techniques of hittingand fielding. When it was all over, he signed autographs,including a ball I had brought. That ball still sits on myshelf alongside a picture of my grandfather and me, standingnext to the man who, in my mind, was the single greatestbaseball player in the world. As a bonus, Steve gave everyonetickets to the game the following night, which would be thefirst baseball game I had ever attended.

My dad and Iarrived early on game night so we could watch battingpractice. I could not think of a better seat in the world thanperched up on those right-field bleachers. To this day thosewere the best seats money could buy. I stood rigid as thenational anthem was played; it sent chills up and down myspine. At the end, my dad yelled, "Play ball" in hismost spirited voice. The game got off to a fast-paced start -for the other team. But I was too busy taking in the sightsand sounds of the game to care what the score was. Late in thegame, with the Rangers down, I joined the crowd in stamping myfeet and clapping my hands. We made those metal bleachersshake with excitement, and it paid off. The team's leftfielder, Pete Incaviglia, who also became one of my favoriteplayers, rocketed a home run to right field and the Rangersfinally got on the board.

In the end that run was notenough for the home team to win. But I didn't mind. Theevening was filled with excitement and that one night in earlyMay remains one of the most memorable in my life.

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