April 2, 2001
I gripped that wood tight, stared down the line, and I waited for the pitch. This was my first year playing baseball. Both of my older brothers had played the game for a few years now. They were very good, and so was I when I was home playing in the back yard.
--- Copyright © 1999 Melissa Knapp
It was something about all those people watching me, and all the kids in the field who I didn't know. The whole season had gone by and I had never even swung at one pitch. I was just too scared I would fail in front of everyone.
This was the last game of the season, and I so much wanted to hit that ball. My heart pounded fast, and my breathing was heavy. I could hear my mother in the background, cheering me on.
Here it came, strike one. I didn't swing, I just held that bat steady. Again I stared down the line, my heart had speeded up, my mother was still cheering. I was muttering now, "Please, please, please let me hit the ball."
Pitch number two; again I did not swing - strike two. I put the bat down and stepped away from the plate. I wiped my forehead; my heart couldn't possibly beat any harder than it was at this moment. This was my last chance, this time I was swinging.
I stepped back up to the plate, held the bat steady. I stared right at the pitcher and smiled. I could see it in his eye's he thought he had it made. No way not this time, I thought. I took a deep breath, and waited for the third pitch. I swung! Crack!
I couldn't believe it, I had hit the ball, I watched as it went clear over the fence. I was so happy. I thought wow a home run, and I ran. I ran to first, then on to second, to third, and finally I touched home. Then I heard, "Foul ball".
I struck out that day, but not because I didn't try. Even though I didn't make a run, I did conquer my fear of playing ball in front of strangers. Looking back on that day now, even though we lost that game, I still won for I swung at the pitch.