Blake - Sonoma, California
Entered on December 8, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe winning the big game and succeeding forever changed my life. The joy that I experienced on the baseball field that day was something that can never be taken away from my teammates and me. Every day of the week leading up to the biggest game of my life, I tried to imagine how great it would be to end my senior year of high school going out a champion. Taking the field at third base for one final time is an honor that I’ll always have the rest of my life. Every pitch seemed as if it were slow motion and I was hoping that the game would never end; it was hitting me that this would be the last game I would ever play in.

Everything that week seemed perfect. No one had a grin on their face if they did something wrong, they simply went back to working hard and getting better. Teaching us all to keep our heads up and don’t let the little things get to you but to do it for the team. It was all about the team 100 percent of the time. The night before I remember telling myself to have a great time and make the best out of the last baseball game of my life. As the sun rose over the valley hills, I couldn’t wait to embark on the bus for the ride that wouldn’t be forgotten. Stepping off the bus I was as focused as I’ve ever been. Nothing else was on my mind but playing hard, having fun, most of all winning the championship and getting a ring.

As I stepped into the batters box for my first at-bat, I was trying to remember everything I was ever taught. Yet the only thing I could focus on was hitting that baseball as hard as I could. I swung and heard “crack,” the sound of the composite aluminum hitting the leather of the ball and the ball soaring into right center field. Each inning seemed to get much slower until we made the last out in the bottom of the sixth. The last inning came around and as I wait for the last out, I reminisce on everything I’ve done involving sports; as I thought about it, I realized how much of my life revolved around sports and succeeding. The day I get my ring, this will mean to me that I have not only won the big game but I have succeeded and won in the right way, with class and respect for the game. That day was the first time I realized how beneficial I was from this game and how many life lessons I had learned in just one game.