Not Giving Up Hope
I believe in not giving up hope, notably in sports, where anything can happen. There are countless examples of miracles in spots, from the gridiron to the hardwood to the baseball diamond. Doug Flutie’s Hail Mary in 1984 to Christian Laettner buzzer-beater in ’92 to the numerous comebacks of the Boston Red Sox in the 2004 ALCS, professional sports is full of unforgettable moments where victory was ripped from the jaws of hopeless defeat. But the best example of this type of success coming out of an impossible situation, was not a buzzer-beater or a Hail Mary, or a walk-off dinger, it didn’t come with no time on the clock, or on the last play, or in the bottom of the ninth, it came on a simple two RBI slap single in the bottom of the second inning in a Babe Ruth League baseball game.
It was a sweltering June day, and also the day of the first championship baseball game I had ever played in, from tee-ball to Little League to Babe Ruth, this was the only shot I had at being a champion, my only shot to win that trophy that I would pack away and bring out in 50 years to show my grandkids as I tell them the story of the game, for probably the 15th time at that point. I came into the game having a disgraceful average of about .110. Baseball, at least hitting, was not my thing. It was the bottom of the second, men on second and third and two out, I came to bat as the ninth hitter, the end of the order, the last man, hoping simply to elongate the inning. A walk, a hit, an error, a bean-ball, even catcher’s interference, I didn’t care; all I wanted was to not make an out. The count quickly became 1-2 (balls-strikes) and it was looking like my effort was fruitless, that as usual, I would strike out and let the team down, not that it would be a big deal, it was basically be what was expected. The pitcher rocked back and gunned a fast ball away, I threw my bat out, and as if an act of God, the ball was slapped down the line magically staying fair and driving in two runs, I chugged around first but was thrown out at second, but at the point, nothing else mattered, I had tied the game and somehow gained some success in the batter’s box. In the end, we did not win the game, I had no trophy to show the grand kids, but I had something even better, something more unique, the game ball from my coach. For that reason, it is evident to me that although it may seem impossible, to give up hope, to always try and to persevere. This is clearly evident in professional sports, but those guys are paid to be miracle-workers, when a scrawny kid who’s not the best ball player can drive in two in the championship game that is why I always try to perservere, even after failure, still to try, because sometimes life surprises you.
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