The Catch

The last inning began with the home team ahead 8-2.  The game hadn’t been close until this inning . . . the visitors, the “Orioles”, hit their way on base batter after batter.  The infielders of the home team, “Cubs”, were not at their best — fatigue, nerves, what have you . . . you could see it.  Momentum was spinning grounders and causing balls to hop over our infielders gloves.  8-3.  8-4.  8-5.  The Orioles were catching up.  They had runners on base.  A ball gets loose into the outfield.  A runner scores.  8-6.  2 runners on base.  The winning run at the plate.  The first batter strikes out.  The second grounds to first.  The runners advance.  The tying run is on 2nd and a runner on 3rd.  2 outs.  Runners are told when there are 2 outs to run on any contact.

The batter fouls one off.  The batter swings and misses.  The batter fouls one off.  2 strikes.  2 out.  The catcher crouches down.  Glove up.  The pitch.  The batter tips the ball but . . . the catcher, alert, catches the ball.  Game Over — 3rd Strike, Foul Tip, caught by the catcher.  The game winning catch.  The Catch.

The catcher was my son, Harley.  It was an amazing moment for a parent, for me.  It was even more amazing to watch him.  His teammates acknowledging him.  Yelling his name.  His smile beaming . . . wide.  Happy.  I was happy for him.

I didn’t grow up playing baseball besides in the street.  I never fell in love with the game.  But . . . I can see how men, young and grown, have and continue to do so.  The Catch.

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