Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Long Ball

There's a moment in baseball that I love. I love several moments in baseball. There's one that I love more than most. If you've ever watched a good hitter at work, there's this great moment that happens now and then. He steps up to the plate, the pitcher delivers a pitch, and the batter swings. Not an "I'm gonna crush this ball" kind of swing. Its just a nice clean swing. Then you hear the bat find that ball right in the sweet spot. Crack. Right at that moment, while most fans are standing up, watching the ball sail, waiting and wondering if it's gonna clear the fence, the best place to look is in that batter's eyes. See, he already knows. He felt it. He felt that ball meet that bat. The right pitch. Just the right spot on the bat. The perfect swing. It all came together. It's a matter of physics. That batter doesn't need to wonder if that ball has the distance. He's not looking for it at all. At that moment, he looks down at the grass in the infield. He tosses that bat over to the dug out with absolutely no urgency. He already knows that when that ball lands, its gonna be rolling around in the cheap seats. It's gone.

Life is like that sometimes. Sometimes it just goes right. Sometimes you just catch hold of that fast ball that the pitcher's been whizzing past you all game. Why? Who knows? Who cares? At that moment, the only thing that matters is enjoying that leisurely stroll around the bases. You don't run, because you want it to last a little while. That pitcher has had your number all game. This time, you had his.

It doesn't happen all that often, but now and then you knock one out the park. I like that moment.

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