I never did like the taste of dirt, but I had a mouthful of it from diving head first into second after smacking a line drive down the right field line. Sweat was trickling down my face and stinging my eyes as I wearily got up and wiped the dust off of my uniform. It was the top of the last inning and we were up 9-8. We had to win this game to finish above .500. I looked down at the third base coach, which seemed like a mile, and he gave me the signal to run on this pitch, but I saw the catcher was keeping his eye on me, like a predator hunting it’s prey. I didn’t run and my coach looked at me as if to say: “why didn’t you run?” On the next pitch he gave me the signal to stay, but I knew I could catch the catcher off guard, so I ran. The catcher threw a bullet to third and it was a perfect throw, with the ball getting there just before my foot. “What are you doing?” screamed my coach. I just got up, discouraged and tired, and ran to the bench, got my glove and took my position in left field.
Everybody dreaded playing left field at this field, because you’re staring straight into the eye of the evening sun, but I was always put there because I was the best outfielder. The bases were loaded like a gun waiting to go off and there were two outs. On the first pitch the batter lofted the ball into left field towards me, but of course the sun blinded me, causing me to lose track of it. I really despised the sun at that moment. When I saw the ball again, it was going to go over my head, but I started back-pedalling and then I leaped into the air, but the ball bounced straight up into the air off of the top of my glove. I landed on my back and when I opened my eyes, the ball was headed directly for my face, like a meteor hurtling towards earth. I instinctively put my glove over my face to shield it from the ball and the next thing I knew, the ball was resting safely in my glove. I was ecstatic. I couldn’t believe I had just won the game and made up for my baserunning blunder.