It was the beginning of February of my senior year in high school. I had been conditioning for months leading up to tryouts for the baseball team so I was in the best shape of my life and I was confident. The past three years before that I was put on the JV team because the coaches didn't like my "attitude", so my senior year I was determined to get a starting spot on the varsity team no matter what. During tryouts the coaches would always look at me like I didn't belong and would whisper things amongst themselves Just quiet enough so I couldn't hear.
I knew I would have to work arder than anyone trying out to make the team and that is exactly what I did. I got my spot on the team. Workouts for varsity baseball at London High School were some of the hardest things I had ever done but I knew that it would be worth it once the season rolled around. We ran, lifted, ran, ran and then we ran. It was exhausting but rewarding. Towards the end of our offseason workouts the team started to throw inside the gym so our arms would be ready once it got warm enough to go outside. Two weeks of that and everybody on the team were worn thin with each other, the game and the oaches.
It finally got warm enough to go outside and I was ready to show my coaches that I had what it took to start for the London Red Raiders. They put me in left field because they knew I could catch very well. It didn't start out too well for me the first couple of practices but once I got my throws down I felt like there was nothing that could stop me. I was fighting for a starting spot with a Junior who did not deserve to be playing on a varsity field. I knew then that all I had to do was keep the mistakes toa minimum and the starting spot would be mine. I was right.
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I earned my starting spot and played well through the first fifteen games of the season but the worst thing that couldVe happened to me, happened. It was game fifteen against Westland and we were up 4-0. A ball was hit to down the left field line and the only way I could make the catch was to dive so that is exactly what I did. I caught the ball but I also broke three ribs while making the catch. It felt like somebody was slowly pushing a hot knife in to my rib cage and twisting it. I couldn't breathe let alone stand up so I had to get help to the dugout. The doctor told me that
I would have to sit out at least ten games to let my rips properly heal. Ten games later our record was 20-5 and we had a good chance of making it to the state finals. Our first game of the playoffs was against Columbus Mifflin which was easily the worst team we had played all season. The second game was against Bishop Watterson. It was the top of the seventh inning and we were winning by one run at home. All we needed was one more out to win the game and move on to the regional finals. There was a runner on second and third with Watterson's best hitter at the plate.
The second pitch of the at bat he hit a ball that I knew was going over my head as soon as it came off the bat. I immediately started running straight back and looked back for the ball after I had traveled about fifteen yards but couldn't find it at first. Once I did find it I realized that it was going over my left shoulder so I turned my As soon as I caught it, all I could think about was all of the months of hard work I had put in to making the varsity team. All of the drills and lifting I did by myself to make myself better.
All of the time and effort I put in to baseball instead of going out very weekend or sitting around doing nothing. I stood up with the ball in my glove and instantly got tackled by my best friend who was playing center field. That's when it hit me that I made the game winning catch to send our team in to the regional finals. Ever since that day I have always been very confident in my abilities to play baseball and that only increased when I was called by the head coach of Clark State Community College and asked to play at the collegiate level. But still to this day, that one catch, was the best moment that I have ever had.
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