Thursday, July 2, 2009

Play Ball

Empty bleachers shout adoration for their hero as he steps into the chalk lined box. Eyes squint to the field, surveying opportunities. Toes grind turf, searching for purchase, as arms torque in readiness. Every breath halts, except that spinning off the speedy white orb.

Crack.

Dust devils chase the retreating ball, leaving trails across the infield. Head down Cole sprints toward first, rounding wildly in search of second. A canyon of a smile matches the twinkle in his eye, legs pumping like pistons.

Tag. You're out!

Unhindered, he runs on. Bewildered, the short stop fires the ball to third, a resounding smack of leather on leather. Arm pendulums to contact.

Tag. You're out!

A wave of new energy crashes through tired muscles as he turns for home, tracing white lines to destiny. Catapulting through the air, legs flung out before him reaching for the plate. A cloud erupts as he screams....home run!

No, really you are out. Twice, at least.

Cole does not understand why each hit is not a home run, a highlight fit for Sportcenter. Dangerous what we expect of ourselves, the weight many times greater than that put upon us by others. Getting on base is not good enough, we have to be the hero.

Sometimes a single will change the face of a game as much as a homerun. Sometimes striking out is not a bad thing, if we learn from it the next time we come to the plate. Very few batters have ever hit .400, that's only four out of ten.


So why do we expect to hit a home run every time?

Maybe it's hereditary.

22 comments:

Pastor Sharon said...

That is a great message to all of us! Why is it that we always put ourselves under so much pressure to get it perfect everytime?

Maggie May said...

Yes....... it is frustrating to be a perfectionist but I suppose it is what drives the human race on!

Lorraine said...

The need to be a hero, isn't it inherent in all of us...good post Brian ;)

Candie Bracci said...

The most important is to have been there,participated and tried your best.

Daniel said...

This reminds me of the time I went to a Red Sox game, and before the main event, they planned a little game with the player's children as a pre-game activity. They had set up a mini-set of bases for the little ones, all inside the pitcher's mound. However, when Carlton Fisk's boy hit the ball, he ran around the major league bases. He wouldn't stop for anything. It was hilarious. He was probably anticipating your post today, just 35 years in the past.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

great minds indeed!

hope cole keeps up the expectation of a home run every time! as long as a temporary disappointment only leads to thinking... well then next time....

mum said...

what the mouse, she said :-)

+ yay, Cole!

Wings said...

Keep reaching for the stars, isn't that what 'they' say? :)

Great post Brian!

only a movie said...

Always enjoy a good baseball metaphor... lovely post. Thanks for stopping by!

otin said...

Would I rather hit 4 home runs and lose the game, or go 1 for 4 with a single and be on the winning team? I think it depends on the day for me!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Loved the last line.

Too true for so many of us. I hope that Cole can tone down his perfectionism. I know C still struggles with it, but he's done better with it than his dad did at his age. I always had my finger in too many pies to be a true perfectionist. I merely had dreams of perfectionism.

subtorp77 said...

What Pastor Sharon said, pretty much sums it up( for me anyway ). I stopped doing that a long time ago...

Brian Miller said...

@pastor sharon - i am torn between the lessons...we can not alwasy hit the homerun or the positive outlook of succeeding...

@Maggie May - and i always thought it was love. or maybe it should be.

@lorraine - it is in me, and i guess ihave passed it on...hope you have a great weekend!

@candi - true that...think cole would hit the ball all afternoon if we let him.

@daniel - great story! would have been fun to watch. cole will run through the outfield to avoid a tag on the way to the next base.

@mouse - you make me appreciate the other side of this story. too funny our posts the same name. great shot today!

@mum - smiles.

@Wings - sometimes i wish i could just lasso the moon and..lol.

@only - thanks for dropping back by! baseball is always good for a metaphor.

@otin - i hear you.think it speaks a lot of where we are as a nation and a world, as well. not to bring yet another metaphor into this whole thing...

@jen - it took a long time for me to get used to failure. and to realise the benefits of failing at times. its never easy, but it can keep us from trying when if we fail enough , we can succeed.

Brian Miller said...

@subtorp - posted almost the same time again. thanks for dropping by. nice school house rock today! have a great 4th!

SandyCarlson said...

Wonderful post. I think we are expected to. A friend once remarked that coming in second is quite an achievement, but who cares? His point--we tend to focus on all or nothing. It's too bad.

Baino said...

You did say once that you were competitive so maybe it is hereditory! I can hit a home run, just have trouble getting to first base! I think we all would like to win something, just once. I'm hoping it's the lottery!

lakeviewer said...

The prose is sharp and fast, moving us through the narrative, experiencing the game through the child's efforts. Great job.

LENORENEVERMORE said...

That's right...Winning is not everything! errr???
Anyway, Have a great 4th of July Brian, you & the whole gang!!!
ps: added you to my link roll~

Sandi McBride said...

Winning is not everything? Really? Boy, my Dad would disagree with you on that one! LOL at this all to human post...it was so worthy of that Post of the Day nomination!!!
Sandi

Denise said...

Wonderful message to us all. Great post. Congratulations on POTD over at David's blog.

Shaye said...

Cute! I don't know...sometimes it's a good thing to expect the best but prepare for the worst. The preparation for worst is the hardest. Or maybe it's not. Maybe expecting the best is the hardest. It's a toss up!

Great post. And congrats for being contender for POTD at David's. He always finds the best stuff out there! Glad to "meet" you in blogland!

~Shaye @ Miller Memories

Cheffie-Mom said...

Congrats on the Post of the Day mention from authorblog!