Billy was a heavy hitter. A pudgy young man he couldn’t run very far or very fast but if he connected bat to ball; look out! All the other boys, the coaches, and the parents in the stands called him Slugger. He liked hearing them chant it when he came to bat but he was nervous every time. Here he was again, bottom of the ninth, bases loaded, and two outs already.
His palms sweat as he stepped up to the base. He had his instructions from the coach, “hit it as hard and straight as you can and get to first. Just stay on first and let the other runners come home. Don’t take a chance of trying to get to second because we will lose the game if you do. ”
Billy knew coach thought he would get out if he ran for second. He expected he was right and had no intention of trying. He done it before and it didn’t work out. Every game was the same. It was a lot of pressure for a ten-year old boy. Sometimes he was a hero sometimes he was bum.
He could hear the crowd chanting Slugger! Slugger! He connected, heard the “Ping!” and ran as fast as he could, keeping his eye on first base. The crowd was screaming “Run! Run!” He could hear the metal stands echoing from stomping feet. It was so exciting and he felt invincible; second base wasn’t that far. He looked up to see the second base coach with a look of fear on his face; he swung his arm in a circular motion. “Pour it on Billy, pour it on!”
Billy ran as fast as he ever had in his life. He momentarily thought he was crazy taking a chance like this. “What happens if I get out? He thought and in that moment he made the decision to slide!
Dirt flew all around him and he winced and sputtered as some flew into his mouth. His teammates were already celebrating, nobody even seemed to notice his grand slam or his epic slide They were all congratulating the last runner in as if he were the hero.
Billy looked to see who was on deck and his heart sank when he saw his younger cousin. Pee Wee hit the first ball that was pitched. It was a grounder to short stop who threw it to third long before Billy got there.
Billy felt dejected and was slow to join his celebrating teammates. Once in the dugout they all began to jump up and down and slap each other with their caps. They had won the game and were going for ice cream.
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