To Die For

Dan - Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Entered on April 2, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: sports, work
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

Every one of us has one thing in life that we’d do anything for, and for some of us—even die for. It could be: academic, artistic, or athletic. For me it’s the glorious sport of baseball, and for those of you who know the player I am today, let me tell you, I has not always been that way. Still, I gave everything a small nine year old boy could to get better. I believe if you really want something, you’ll do anything to get it.

It was the fall of 2001, my first season of baseball. My dad had been a baseball star up through college (he was a closer), so in a way I felt like I had a lot to live up to. Well my throw looked more like I was competing in shot-put for track and field, and my swing was simply awful. Long story short, I was terrible. I hit last on my first team and barely saw the field. Now I’m not sure why I was so determined to get better, maybe it’s because I never really had to work for anything in my life and I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. Regardless of the cause, I set my sights high and vowed that I’d give everything I could to get better.

Almost everyday for six months I went and worked with my dad on all aspects of my game. Next season my fielding was still appalling, but damn could I hit. I went from batting last to batting fourth (a position that I haven’t relinquished since). Still I was not satisfied. Had I been a couple years older I would’ve hit the weights, but being a mere third grader I looked for help elsewhere. I found it in Mario Diaz. Mario was an ex-pro who turned my entire baseball career around. He worked on my fielding and my hitting. He gave me confidence in my own ability. Never will I be able to thank him foe what he did for me. Mario is my hero. Next season I was a full time starter. Playing third base (my primary position until I moved here) I batted fourth and hit over .700! My coach told me that it was the most astonishing change in any player that he had ever seen. I went from a bench warmer to a star.

One year later my success would be truly solidified. I was asked to be on the All Star team. It was a team made up of the best players from all the teams around the league. Five of the twelve players came from my team. We demolished districts and came in fourth in state. These last weeks ended up being the last days I would spend in Florida for the day after state I moved here. I can think of no better way to end my time in Florida then to just play ball with my best friends.

After a rollercoaster ride of teams I have finally arrived as the starting freshmen catcher for Mountain Vista. In addition I have been called up a couple times to play with the sophomores. My hard work has finally paid off.

I believe if you really want something you’ll do anything to get it. I went from a kid whose entire career would’ve ended a couple weeks ago from being cut, to an obvious draft choice. Now that you’ve heard my story ask yourself, what have you worked for? And more importantly—what would you die for?