At 18 years of age I find myself successful as a senior in high school. I was taught on the field that no matter what crosses you, the best thing to have and never lose is hope. Whether it was hope for a win or hopes to get a hit. Hope was needed but the only way hope can be there is if you believe.
An estimated twenty feet away, I squint my eyes as I read the next sign that will appear. My glasses are absent as my eyes play games with my head. He signals one high and tight. A three ball two strike count; how suspenseful the experience. A one run lead for the opposing team which I am destined to keep to a limit. Letting them win is not an option as I choose from various pitches. Now the bases are loaded and I have no outs. Frustration leads to anger, a pitcher’s worst enemy. I squeeze myself out of the inning with no damage to lead us to a downfall. My arm begins to weaken since I have only pitched a limited amount of games this year.
I am an average person in a poor neighborhood living on the wrong side of town, a life of graffiti, violence, and drugs. At 14 years old I was a slim kid with chains on my wrists making my soul a slave of my body, but I always believe in hope. That hope I found on the field, a field of disappointment, where there is an inconsistency of grass. There are bumps here and there, as if the field understood my life. The field reveals the horrible truth of where we live and play.
I met coach Baustita who coached me up until my junior year. He brought me success and exposure to the league. As a senior, thicker than when I began, I was still intimidated by him, I walked down the hall pondering collegiate baseball as I asked him, “Where do you think I can make it?” With faith, honor, and pride he responded, “You can make it anywhere you want, if you have the will and desire to do so John.” This I believe, I believe there is hope for that 5’6” 14 year old Hispanic. I will not break the color barrier like Jackie Robinson did in 1947. I will not be the first, but another. Hope; I hope to play and I hope to succeed. There is hope for me, hope for a better life, a life of peace, joy, and love–where love is not a mystery.
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